BY Lorri Wickenhauser, The Western JournalJune 21, 2023
1 year ago
 | June 21, 2023
1 year ago

When Woman's Car Breaks Down at Chick-fil-A, Staff Turns Restaurant Into Repair Shop and That Was Just the Beginning

Just when everything was going wrong for Catherine Serra, a young man in a red shirt appeared. Then another showed up. And another.

In the end, what seemed like a ruined day turned into an opportunity to tell the world how God helped her out of a tight spot.

"Lemme tell you a story about God’s provision (and the good people of Chick-fil-A Branson!)" Serra posted on Facebook June 8.

Serra said she and her daughter, Janey Lucas, had driven clear across Missouri from their home near St. Louis so Janey could take a tour at College of the Ozarks, which is just next door to Branson in Point Lookout.

Since they were only seven minutes from their destination, she said, they figured they had time to stop at Chick-fil-A for a quick lunch.

"We made it to the very front of the drive thru and my van literally died right there completely blocked in," Serra wrote in a Facebook post about the incident.

"I panicked a little and said a little prayer, got out of my car and told the car behind me and the worker by my window that my car died and I didn’t know what to do."

Fortunately, she had picked the right restaurant at which to break down.

"The nice young employee calmly told me he’d help me push my car over to the side to get out of the way," Serra said.

Serra called her husband, but couldn't reach him because he was in a meeting. He couldn't have done much anyway, as Serra was hours away from home.

Within minutes, though, she said, a manager came out to check on her. "I told him we were traveling and I wasn’t sure what to do and I was waiting to hear from my husband," Serra wrote.

"A few minutes later the owner came out and I told him why we were there and he ran inside to get one of his employees, who used to be a mechanic."

That employee was facilities manager Brigham Barnes.

"Within 10 minutes [Barnes] had diagnosed the problem and ordered a new alternator for my van," she wrote.

Not only that, she said, the store owner, Kevin Hutcheson, arranged a ride for Serra and her daughter for their college tour. He even called the admissions office to keep them advised of the situation.

Meanwhile, she marveled, "they literally sat and fixed my car for us (for free) in the parking lot while we did our tour."

Other workers in the restaurant, aware of her predicament, stopped to comment on the progress of the work, rejoicing with them when the engine finally turned over.

"We were in a crisis and the whole store cheered us on while helping us out of the goodness of their hearts," Serra said.

"And everybody that we were on the college tour with ... they were all excited for the story, too," she told the Western Journal.

Afterward, Serra could hardly believe what had happened.

"I am still in awe of the Lord’s goodness today and am so thankful He put me where He did when my car went kaput," she wrote in her Facebook post.

"Thank you, Branson CFA for being the hands and feet [of Jesus]."

The store owner, Kevin Hutcheson, told the Western Journal his staff has often had occasion to push a stalled car, offer a jump-start or even put out the occasional engine fire.

Circumstances lined up that day to allow them to help Serra in a unique way, Hutcheson said.

"We can't fix every car in the drive-through," he said. "We just happen to have a really unique opportunity to meet a need right where we were.

"We really just know that people end up in our parking lot for a reason," he said. "Sometimes it's to have a great meal and sometimes when they try to leave, we need to help them out with something.

"We were excited to be able to jump in and help out."

This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.

Written by: Lorri Wickenhauser, The Western Journal



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