“OK, everyone in the other car just finished saying Tefilat Haderech, the prayer for travel, too,” confirmed my daughter Chaya after the text message came through. Our family was split up between two overloaded minivans as we began our trip leaving the Crown Heights neighborhood of Brooklyn, N.Y., to our Chabad House in Chautauqua.

We were schlepping everything we needed for the entire summer; the minivan I drove contained enough to fill aOur kids were divided according to age and temperament commercial fridge and three freezers! Our kids were divided according to age and temperament, providing for a harmonious (albeit cramped) trip. They enjoyed keeping tabs on each other as our vans would become obscured by cars and trucks that came between us.

A few hours away from Chautauqua, we were minutes behind my husband’s minivan when we suddenly caught up to them because they had abruptly pulled to the side of the road. My husband immediately called and told us not to stop, but to keep traveling; everything was under control.

What really happened was truly a miracle! Initially, my husband heard a very loud noise and thought the car had hit something. He stopped on the side of the road, looked the car over and noticed nothing. Then he did a more careful examination and saw that one of the tires, while appearing fine superficially, was actually almost completely peeled off. If he would have gone a foot or so more, it would have unraveled, causing a major blowout on the highway at 70 miles an hour!

Then the next part of the miracle happened: The AAA operator told my husband that they contacted the nearest repair center in Elmira, which at 7 PM was closing up for the day. Remarkably, when they heard that a family was stuck on the highway, they said they would wait. By the time the police, a taxi and the AAA tow truck finally arrived, nearly two hours had passed. Yet they received my husband graciously and fixed the vehicle, enabling my family to continue on to Chautauqua.

The last segment of the trip was through heavy rain and thunderstorms . . . right after the car was safe and secure. I can’t imagine what an ordeal it would have been had the rain started earlier, or if the only repair center was closed. My children marveled at how our prayers for a safe trip were answered!

I arrived first at our new Chabad House, hours before my husband. As I was unpacking, lugging in the boxes under the gusty rain, I realized a further sign of Divine providence: my minivan was the one loaded with all the perishables that needed immediate refrigeration. My husband’s minivan had all the rest of the stuff.

The next morning, we received a call from the department of religion of the Chautauqua Institution. We were invited to attend a special luncheon for all denominational houses (religious centers), where an overview of the summer’s program would be shared by the president and all the heads of the various departments. (A special plate of whole fruits was prepared for us.) Since we were inaugurating a new Chabad House, they thought it would be wonderful if we would introduce ourselves and describe what our center would offer the community.

We knew exactly what we would share in this golden opportunity of introducing Chabad at the luncheon.

Since the Rebbe urged everyone to publicize and share stories of miracles, we would now share our very own road-trip miracle! The Rebbe explained three reasons for sharing stories of miracles.

First, the Rebbe said it is our duty to acknowledge what G‑d has done for us and express our gratitude. Secondly, a miracle is a flash of It is our duty to express our gratitudetruth that enables us to transcend our preoccupation with materialism, which causes spiritual numbness. Miracles open our perception to see and feel how G‑d is in this world and a part of our lives. This spiritual awareness is uplifting and invigorating; it serves to dispel apathy towards Divinity, and is an antidote to spiritual numbness.1 The impact of miracles not only inspires the people who experienced them, but influences those who hear of them as well.

Lastly, the Rebbe said that recounting miracles brings Moshiach closer.2 Publicizing miracles furthers the awareness of G‑d in this world, thus hastening the world’s redemption.

Reflecting on the Rebbe’s words, we felt that sharing our miracle story would be the best way for us to introduce the mission of Chabad: to bring the awareness of G‑d into our consciousness, to affect our everyday lives in a tangible way and to bring the Redemption.

To our amazement, the story didn’t end there. After my husband finished detailing our experience to the luncheon audience, Rev. Paul Womack was called up to give a benediction.

He began by saying that he was finally retiring from being a pastor in Chautauqua, as well as previously serving as a U.S. Army Reserve chaplain and colonel in Iraq. Since he was embarking on a new chapter in his life, he found a most suitable prayer that requested G‑d’s protection and guidance on this new path before him. He mentioned that he found this prayer in material given to chaplains by the Chabad-affiliated Aleph Institute, based in Florida. He chose to recite the Jewish prayer for travel, Tefilat Haderech. (The very same prayer we recited before our trip!) He also expressed how he felt that this prayer was relevant and meaningful for the position he had as a chaplain in the army. He shared it with many soldiers, asking G‑d to protect them before they went out on missions.

My husband and I were blown away by this open display ofWe were blown away by the open display of Divine providence Divine providence! Who would believe that this benediction and accompanying words would be the Jewish prayer for travel that we just spoke of? It contained the premise of what a miracle achieves—the awareness that wherever you go, you are in G‑d’s Hands.

This message resonated profoundly with our family; with Rev. Womack, who had shared it with so many soldiers overseas in battle; and with all those at the luncheon.

This whole experience was a gift of inspiration that kept giving. We repeated this story throughout the summer season, and then some. And we were delighted to see how it resonated with so many people. Our story began with my children recognizing that for a safe trip, you turn to G‑d. G‑d answered that prayer with a series of miracles, showing us clearly how much He is with us in all our ways.