We have SO much to praise God for-prayers answered! (THIS was a good day.)
You would never believe, in all your wildest imaginations, what it takes to purchase a vehicle in a foreign country. Never mind that a used vehicle of certain brands are almost as much a new one in the states… It’s crazy. It has taken 4 months to find one… The RIGHT ONE… And almost two weeks to complete the deal. I don’t know the total number of people involved or how many offices were visited (Jeff is doing that part with the help of our pastor here).
When they were wading through the paperwork, they kept trying to tell Jeff he didn’t have the proper documentation to prove he could be here. What? (Our supervisor assured us we did--but being in a different location and dealing with different people than the ones Jeff was with–and they wouldn’t budge.) It’s been one more tornado of an event getting this accomplished. When we buy our next car or truck in the states – I’m bringing the salesman donuts… cookies… Or cake. Or all of it! (*truck stats at the bottom)
Saturday, we took the opportunity (since we now had insurance – again, that was a huge ordeal), to drive and see some of the city by ourselves. It’s been since January that we have arrived and we have either depended on a friend to take us, walked, or paid an Uber or taxi. I never imagined it would take from January 26 to almost May 1st to get where we needed to be–with a little more independence.
If you’re privileged to have your own mode of transportation and can navigate with a certain amount of confidence anywhere you need to go, you are BLESSED…. So thank God for this wonderful opportunity.
While we were out, we saw some familiar sights, and some not as familiar (New fellow sleeping in the door frame of the Catholic Church.). And the traffic? It’s still just as crazy as ever–the difference is, we are part of the crazy in a real way!
Several times, while we were driving in the country (to a certain village), our road on the map we were following, just disappeared. Then at other times, it was hard to tell which way to go, and yet at other times, it would say “turn right or turn left” ….and low and behold, there would be a fence. Or there would be a field. How in the world do you navigate that??
There was one way we could get to where we were going, once we got close enough–
by looking UP.
There’s a very tall radio tower that can be seen from almost anywhere in the village, so once we got close enough to see that, although it was yet a few miles away, we could keep our eyes locked on the tower and keep forging forward.
This journey has done some amazing and some very painful things. It has brought out the best and the worst. The worst needs driving far from us, and the best needs to just hold on–He’s doing something unexpected.
More than you would believe, I have leaned on this word:
“Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and He shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say on the Lord.” Psalm 27:14
“My soul, wait though only upon God; for my expectation is from Him.” Psalm 62:5
No one can do this for us; only us. It was His voice who called, our ears that heard, His hand that leveled mountains to get us here, and it is only by His grace and mercy we are kept. I have found this to be the hardest thing ever, but I have found Him to be unimaginably faithful to His promises.
Friends, I have no idea what you are truly going through today. Facebook and Instagram and all those great photo filters make it easy to keep the truth off the front page–but HE sees your front page every day–and He knows the last page. Take stock today. Dig into the Word and into your heart and let Him reveal what is needed in your life.
I will tell you straight up, there will be some hard days…but the times you will draw even closer to God than you ever imagined are sown in tight to those hard days. For growth.
But they that WAIT upon the Lord shall RENEW their strength; they shall MOUNT UP with wings as eagles; they shall RUN, and not be weary; and they shall WALK, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31 (emphasis mine).
Did you notice the order of things? The mounting up is the exciting beginning. Then, the momentum is still there – so we are now on the run…running with the joy and excitement of this unbelievable journey…but let’s be honest here, it gets tiring after a bit.
Then there comes that time in this journey when we are too pooped to party and walking is about all we can do, and sometimes it feels like a “limping walk”.
We have a friend in Costa Rica who can “power walk” like nobody’s business. He was amazing and I loved to watch him, because I couldn’t even trot and keep up with him. The power walk–is not this walk. This walk is like the “air is heavy and hard to breathe walk, the falling down and skinning our knees walk, and it is affecting our gait…but HE still remains steadfast and faithful. NEVER leaving our side.
“Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every hindrance and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith. For the joy that lay before Him, He endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2 HCSB
If I can encourage you today, stay in the race. Wipe the sweat from your eyes (mixed with tears of frustration and pain) and let’s finish this! You with us? I hope so. I don’t want to see anyone left behind.
*truck stats: a 4 door 4×4, 2011 Ford Ranger, 98,000 miles and priced at $15,000 (thank you to all who gave offerings and who continue to support us!!). We had a budget of $10k but our director graciously requested on our behalf an increase so that we could get this more dependable vehicle. We are so grateful!
Blessed to serve with you!
Jeff and Angie
www.tinyurl.com/sendjeffandangie is the link if you wish to sign up to become a prayer partner or a financial partner (in any amount). Our prayer partners are crucial to this mission continuing.