Wednesday, May 13, 2009

We're Here and Here's the Story

Psalm 13:5-6 “But I trust in your unfailing love, my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing to the Lord, for he has been good to me.”

We arrived in Cholula at Esperanza Viva at about 8:00 on the 12th. It was quite an eventful day to say the least. The beginning of the day started out very well but as the day progressed, we ran into some detours. Well, detours in the United States are well marked and lead you back to the route you had begun on, right? Well, we found out that detours in Mexico can lead you off track without signs leading you back to where you wanted to be and it can take two hours to get back to any decent roads that won’t destroy your car. Most of these roads we found on this detour had “topes” (speed bumps) which our car did not do so well with. The rack we had on the back dragged terribly and after we stopped and checked it once, we realized that two of our Rubbermaid totes were wedging themselves off the rack. By the time we made it to Esperanza Viva, the rack was just a few inches off the ground.

Romans 8:28 “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”

Once we kind of found where we were and thought we knew where we were going, Ryan and Marty (two of the other missionaries) called us and tried to direct us the correct way to get the highway we needed. Well, we got off on the wrong exit and we knew why it was the wrong exit almost as soon as we got off. On the right side of the road was a group of police officers. Guess who they flagged down. Did you guess us? If you did then you were right. Well, we figured, “Okay, we show them our paperwork and that we had paid our taxes and they will flag us on.” Is that what happened? Nope! After showing them our paper work, they looked at the stuff in and on the back of our car and said we were carrying cargo and we were not allowed to carry cargo. Jim told them that it was only for our family and for our house. The police officer looked over our paper work, got out a book in which he was looking for the “rule” he wanted to use and told us we couldn’t carry that much stuff. They proceeded to tell us we needed to pay $5,100 pesos. We had been on the phone with Ryan and Marty and they talked to the officers and tried to make them understand that we were fully within the law and that we could bring all of the stuff we had, but, that did go over well. We told them we didn’t have $5,100 pesos and they asked how much we did have. Jim had already given me the large pesos he had to put somewhere safe. (Wink! Wink!) The officers did not want to let this go. Jerry (the founder of EV) got on the phone with them and told him that he deals with the government all the time and he knew government officials and judges and that they work with the government all the time with the orphanage. Jim told them we did not have that much money and the officer asked him how much he did have. He opened his wallet and thought he had left only $200 pesos in it but there ended up being $400+ pesos. He gave it to the officer and the officer agreed to show us the way to the correct freeway by flagging down a taxi. We think they knew each other since this taxi all of the sudden appeared out of nowhere. Three of the officers got into the taxi and started leading the way. When we told Jerry this, he was really getting concerned that they could lead us just about anywhere into places we didn’t want to go. In the end, they did lead us right to the freeway and flagged us on to go. It ended up costing about $30.00 USD.

During the time we were pulled over, it was very scary to the kids. We prayed and read Scriptures and told Satan that he could not win in the situation. After we were able to go, we talked about the fact that Satan was trying to discourage us all day. He couldn’t discourage us by getting us off the right path so Jim said he was trying to strip us of our money and possessions. Well, he didn’t win! We overcame and it was awesome! At one point, Jonathan said, “I’m going to get out my Bible.” No one prompted him to do this.

During all of the adventures, I thought of a picture that one of the staff received while praying for us last year on our mission trip. She said she saw our van going over mountains on the way here. She said that some of the time she saw God’s hand pushing us along with ease. At other times she saw Jim and me behind the van pushing it. What a picture of our trip. The beginning was smooth sailing, God was pushing us along. The last day, when all this happened, did we physically get out and push the van? No, but we certainly prayed and pushed it along. Marty even told Jim that God may have blinded his eyes from the other $200 pesos knowing that $400 pesos is what would be enough to have the police let us go but $200 wouldn’t do. We praise God for the day, for the experience he brought us through and that He is so good. Would we want to do it again? No! But we can now say that we were robbed by the Mexican police. :o). Marty said “welcome to my world”.

Psalm 73:5-6 “Whom have I in heaven but You? And earth has nothing I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is my strength of my head and my portion forever.”

We are now starting our first day in Cholula. I got up about 6:30 this morning and had a quiet time with the Lord. It is fast becoming clear to me, that my mornings will need to start with quiet time and not waiting until later in the day. It was a wonderful time of soaking in the Word. I then went to take my shower and once I got in, I realized that the water heater must not have been lit last night. Burrrrrrrr!!!!!!!!!!! So, I took a cold shower which really woke me up.

Everyone else got up about 8:00 and we had a good breakfast of eggs and ham, thanks to Marty who took Jim to the store last night to buy some food so we had something to make breakfast and lunch with today. We are now ready to really start the day.
Today, we will be going over to see our new house. We drove by last night but didn’t get to go in. The smaller house inside the gates was not supposed to be rented for at least a year but we found out that the landlord rented it to a single lady who teaches at the university here. So, I guess we will have a neighbor. We will be bringing all of our things to the house and unloading our poor van. We are wondering if the back end will rise up again or not, we sure hope so. It will be nice to have space in the car for us to sit without being crushed by things. We are also hoping to get to some stores to start buying the things we need to begin our life here.

Thank you to everyone who has prayed for us on this journey. I will continue to update our blog but it may be fewer and father between since we will need to use the Internet at the home for now. It may be a while before we have internet at our house. Be assured that if I we do not have internet access and there is something of importance, I will find a way to update everyone. Blessings to you all.

Well, we went with Hector, one of the staff here at EV, and he helped us purchase a refrigerator, washer and dryer. There is a place where you can get new appliances with dents in them for cheaper. We brought the refrigerator home but since we can only take out a daily alotted amount of money from an ATM, we will need to go get the washer tomorrow and the dryer on Friday. We will be leaving soon to go get household items and groceries at Walmart since they take credit cards. We'll update when we can and we will let you know when we have a phone. When we do, we will have the same phone number as we had in Oregon. Thanks again for your prayers!