A 2006 Heaven Sent Chariot

Christian Brothers Automotive

It’s easy to believe all things work together after hearing Katina Bland’s story.
Let’s begin in Orange County, California, where Katina lived with Martell Bland, her husband of 20 years,
and their four children, who range in age from 26 to 15.
Katina, originally from Florida, owned and managed four group homes with her mother and aunt. The
homes began as a haven for children, but since there was no “aging out of the system” rule, many
remained as adults. Martell was an executive in technology sales.
Maya, 18, received a full-ride softball scholarship to OU University. Katina and Martell decided the
distance between California and Oklahoma was too much, so together, they decided to sell the group
homes, pack up, and move to Texas. It meant a new start for everyone and put them much closer to
Sadly, there were other plans the Blands couldn’t see.
“Martell had lung cancer,” Katina explained, “but he joined a trial and was doing much better. Then, just
a few days before beginning the trip, the pain returned. We went to the hospital, and he never left. We
and dozens of his friends held a celebration of his life and, the next day, we left for Argyle, Texas.”
That was in 2020. Katina fell in love with Argyle and made friends quickly. Everyone gladly assisted her in
navigating her new life as a widow.
“A primary concern was getting a dependable car for Maya to drive back and forth between college and
home,” Katina revealed. “I was at the bank one day and saw a car with a For Sale sign in the window. I
talked to the owner who was in his 80s, a veteran, and seemingly honest. He said he wanted $6,000 for
the car, a 2006 Honda Civic. I felt it was a good deal, so he followed me to the dealership to have it
checked out and serviced. I was told it was in good shape.”
Katina purchased the car and drove it straight to the detail shop. She told them it was a surprise for her
daughter, which inspired them to go the extra mile. She then parked the car at friends Brian and Nicole
Recendez’s house.
“The next morning, Brian saw oil on the ground,” Katina continued. “He has a friend at Christian Brothers
Automotive, so he took it there for checking. There were major problems, including a cracked engine
block, a broken axle, and more. Repairs were estimated at several thousand dollars, which I couldn’t
Brian met with the previous owner in a Walmart parking lot. He arrived in a car with a For Sale sign in
the window! Brian asked if he had a hustle going, and the 82-year-old answered by telling him he had a
gun. Brian took the car back to Christian Brothers, where Robert Lowe, the franchise owner, overheard
him explaining the situation to his manager.
“All I did was pray,” Katina recalled. “I felt betrayed and vulnerable. Brian told me Robert (Lowe) was
looking into the situation.”

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