The Canadian Trucker Movement, PART 3 - Hymns and History

I had not planned for this post today, but something deeply moving unexpectedly took place. I cannot put into words what happened – experientially. But I will try.
Harold Jonker
Truckers singing hymns in front of the Canadian Parliament Building
I have been making calls to the guys on the front line of the Canadian truckers’ event - a spiritual revival, in my view. One of those whom I called was Harold Jonker, one of the truck drivers, and co-owner of Jonker Trucking Company of Canada.
Harold took my call, but he did not say a word because they were busy praising the Lord. Without a single comment, he merely held the phone so I could hear what was happening. The truckers were standing before Parliament, singing “A Mighty Fortress is our God.” I had to choke back tears as I listened. I so wish I had recorded it. Imagine with me, if you would, a group of truckers singing these words, knowing that their political leader had just taken action that could freeze all their bank funds, making it impossible for them to even make a purchase. He could possibly even bring in military forces. Or he may begin arresting them. Or more likely, he might order troops to begin “kettling” them, as they call it, a method by which law enforcement and/or military begins pressing them in, making the crowds more and more compact, while cutting off all routes of escape.
Under these uncertainties, I could hear these brave warriors singing, verse after verse, the powerful song, "A Mighty Fortress is Our God":
A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and pow’r are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing,
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us;
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly pow’rs, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth;
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever.
I cannot describe what it was like hearing these saints of God, within harm’s way (thanks to Trudeau), singing confidently,
“for still our ancient foe, doth seek to work us woe,” or
“were not the right Man on our side…” followed by “Dost ask who that may be, Christ Jesus, it is He,” or
“we tremble not for him (“the Prince of Darkness”), followed by “His rage we can endure,” or
“the body they may kill; God’s truth abideth still.”

It was sobering. It was momentous.


Please allow me to take you on what, I admit, is a bit of a detour. This is not fanciful. It is a type of “connecting-of-the-dots.”

I had told Harold a few days ago that I had gone online to the Jonker Trucking Company website and had discovered that his father, who started their family trucking business, was named “George Jonker.”
As you may know, my graduate degrees are in church history. I have taken people on European Church History Tours, including the sites of Martin Luther. When Martin Luther was being hidden from the authorities who were trying to kill him for standing for truth, after his famous “I will not recant. Here I stand. I can do no other” speech at the Diet (dispute or debating assembly) of Worms (the name of a city, pronounced "Vorms") in 1521, his friends “kidnapped” him (literally, without his consent) to protect him from the plan by authorities to kill him further up the road.
Luther’s friends forcibly took him to the castle in Wartburg (Germanic, so pronounced “VART-berg”) where he, in confinement, translated the Bible from Erasmus’ Greek text into the common language of the German people (Low German), giving the people a Bible that they could understand for the first time.
The room where Luther was held at Wartburg Castle
The famous ink splotch, a symbol of Luther’s battle with the devil.
It was there that Luther had his well-known encounter with Satan while held at the Wartburg Castle, which provoked Luther to literally throw an inkwell at the devil, leaving a mark on the wall. The phrase that he had “driven the devil away with ink,” was oft quoted, referring both to this event and his voluminous writings.
The ink stain was allegedly visible on the wall of the room until modern times. The famous “ink splotch” became one of the symbols of the Lutheran Reformation and its victory over the Evil One. On one of my trips to Wartburg, I bought several trinkets, including a pair of socks with an ink spot emblazoned on them!
Martin Luther as "Junker Jorg."
Here is the purpose for this extended story: While they held and protected Martin Luther, he grew a long beard to make him less recognizable (for safety purposes) as he was allowed to move about some, and gave him an alias. His new name was “Junker Jorg” (or “George”).

NOTE: It is interesting to note that in some European countries, the last name is said first. So “George Jonker” (Harold’s truck-driving father) would become “Junker (Germanic spelling) George.” A rather fun story and fascinating irony, wouldn't you say?
The Tower at Wittenberg
The words on the tower
There is more to the unusual “Martin Luther connection.” The song “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”, which Mr. Jonker and his truck-driving friends were singing when I phoned him, is based on Psalm 46. When Martin Luther nailed the Ninety-Five Theses on the door (a common practice at that location, as it was a type of bulletin board) of the church in Wittenberg, Germany on October 31st, 1517, touching off the Protestant (from the word “protest”) Reformation, it was at the base of a large Gothic tower with a rounded dome and spires pointing towards heaven, on which the words are engraved at the top, “Ein Feste Burg ist Unser Gott, Ein Gute Wehr und Waffen.” (See two pictures of the tower) Those are the opening words of the famous Martin Luther hymn, “A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing.”


When the Canadian truckers finished singing that great hymn, written in approximately 1528, they continued with “Amazing Grace.” I could hear them singing, “through many dangers toils and snares, I have already come…”
And from that, they proceeded directly into “The Doxology,” which begins with the words, “Praise God, from whom all blessings flow.”
Praising God! Their emperor-czar had just suspended the law of the land and arbitrarily revoked their Constitutional rights.
Then, Harold and I finally talked. In all that is happening in Canada, with all its uncertainty caused by Trudeau’s ominous fiats, they are at peace, even joyous.
In typical Canadian serenity, he calmly explained, “We are going about our day.”
For years, you have read about the heroes of history. You now have a chance to not merely read history, but actually observe it in the making.
But you can be more than an observer. You can actually make history! How? By:

  • praying for the truckers and their continuing hunger for a Biblically-grounded freedom,
  • praying for their safety – that outside agitators, saboteurs or government plants do not bring violence into what is a peaceful truckers' blockade. (The truckers are profoundly committed to a peaceful environment. In fact, while they have been there, crime in Ottawa has become virtually non-existent!)
  • speaking up boldly and articulately on their behalf, defending their cause (which is really our cause!) that is, a hunger for God-given liberties and for government to conduct itself for the purpose for which God created it, that is, to protect – not abuse – the citizenry.
  • financially supporting them (At this time, we are told that Trudeau, in his massive power grab, cannot seize the assets of an American-based company. Go to and click on “Adopt-A-Trucker.” Be advised to stay informed regarding Trudeau’s capricious and insatiable overreach.)

Someday you will say to your grandchildren, “I remember it. I was there. Let me tell you about it. Here is the story about the time when God miraculously raised up a group of Canadian truckers to save the world from despotism and tyranny.”
Dr. Jim Garlow
Well Versed

Rosemary Schindler Garlow
Well Versed

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