Trucker Tom Pousche, 60, uses his cab for more than just delivering goods. He’s a minister and 25-year trucker whose goal in both roles is to help as many people as he can.
“This is the story of my life,” he says. “I’m interested in where people are going in life and want to help them through all the zigzags life throws.”
After growing up in Idaho Falls, Idaho, Pousche joined the U.S. Navy out of high school, serving in Agana, Guam. Upon leaving the service, he went looking for a job to make his own.”I wanted to make something of my life,” he says, “and trucking gave me that opportunity.”
Pousche says he’d always wanted to work as a Christian minister, but when he started trucking he realized he loved that just as much. He meshed the two by working his way through college – eventually earning a Bachelor’s degree from Big Sky Bible College in Lewiston, Mont., and a Master’s of Divinity from Western Conservative Baptist Seminary in Portland, Ore. – while driving for various trucking companies, working enough during the summers to save up to pay his college tuition at the start of each term.
During college, Pousche hauled everything from furniture to dynamite until balancing trucking and school became too much. He says quitting trucking to finish school was a hard decision, but he knew “the road would always be there.”
Pousche, now a test driver/deliverer for Daimler Trucks North America, has had chances to use his schooling on the road, too. He recalls traveling from Portland, Ore., in a dangerous snowstorm when he and another driver were forced to spend the night in a hotel near a truckstop. Pousche visited the truckstop’s chapel “just in case someone needed help. I met a group of truckers, all talking about themselves and their individual journeys,” he says. “One in particular kept saying he felt God tugging at his heart and openly admitted he’d been running from the call of God for many years.”
Pousche says the trucker was asking for answers, though no one in the chapel was supplying any. Pousche took time to talk with his fellow hauler, answer his questions to the best of his ability and share his Christian beliefs.
“Those are the kind of stories I encounter on the road,” he says.
Pousche says he loves his job, but his greatest joy comes from encouraging others going through difficult times. “I meet many truckers along the highway who are dealing with broken marriages and other issues of loneliness,” he says. “This is a hard time for the nation, and truckers need someone they can turn to.”
Pousche says he never brings up God in a conversation. Instead, when others broach the topic, he uses it as an opportunity to encourage. “God gave me this wonderful ability to help others, and I’m grateful for that,” he says. “Trucking has been a great avenue to use this gift.”
Pousche has been married for 28 years to his wife Kathy and has two children — Scott, 24, and Pamela, 22. He is nearing completion of a book he hopes to have published, “The Whirlwind Principle – Getting People Through the Zigzags of Life.”