HARRISBURG, Pa. – Daniel Mullins walked awkwardly into the middle of Sunday service at the Wilco Travel Plaza mobile chapel, looking confused and worn out.
He wore a red and black, long-sleeved flannel shirt with a large rip in the back despite the 80 degree summer heat. His eyes were sunken in and his shoulders slumped as if beaten by the world.
"Something just brought me here, I don't know why," said Mullins, 47, a truck driver who made an unplanned visit to the Transport for Christ mobile chapel in Harrisburg, Pa., on Sunday.
After spending an hour talking to a chaplain, Mullins emerged from the back room of the 18-wheeler-truck-turned-mobile-chapel with a sheepish smile on his face.
"It was like a weight took off my shoulders," he explained about his smile and straightened back.
Mullins is among the expected 60 to 70 truck drivers who come or rededicate their lives to Christ each year at the TFC mobile chapel in Harrisburg. There, truck drivers find refuge from loneliness and temptations in a chapel manned by chaplains 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
"We never lock our door, our lights are never off," David Roberts, the main chaplain at the Wilco mobile chapel, said proudly.
There are 33 mobile chapels in the United States and Canada, four in Russia, and ones being set up in Zambia and Australia. The Harrisburg mobile chapel is the first permanent TFC site in the United States.
Roberts, who had served as a pastor to six churches prior to being a TFC chaplain, said in his best year as a pastor he led 20 people to Christ. But in his first week at TFC he was surprised that he led 14 truck drivers to Christ.
"To see drivers actually come in and say, 'Could you tell me for sure how I could become a Christian?' I never heard that before," Roberts said. "It was one after another and I realized that it wasn't us. It wasn't the chaplains. The chaplains just have the greatest privilege in the world."
Roberts said truck drivers are open to the Gospel because they have so much time to think. Drivers are "HALT," the chaplain said, which stands for hungry, angry, lonely and tired.