We have grown to love and hate the challenges of the days here in Africa. When the Christmas holidays come we think that it will be more quiet and we have more time because many of the children are back in their villages visiting family. But there never seems to be down time and certainly never boring times. When challenges come we try to find the blessing in them or the reason for them. On Christmas eve we had trouble with finding the blessings and went to bed somewhat exhausted and discouraged. But, we still were pumped on the hope of tomorrow – Christmas day.
We started our day saying - “no town trip today”. The road is very bad from all the rain and we knew from earlier experience during last week that the town is PACKED with people and the queues are 1-2 hours of waiting. So, if there is nothing really needed, why go? Well, then 3 children that returned to Zion (when they are not supposed to do that) ask for a ride to town so they could return to their village. So, we said ok. Since we were in town we decided to pick up a few things. We continue to need to shop for school uniforms and school items and if they get sold out, we will be in trouble (or our children will, which in turn means we will). So, after spending the whole morning and only being successful in 2 stores out of 4, we “gave up”. After standing in a queue for chicken for 1.5 hours and probably and another hour to wait, we said, '”not needed, let’s go.”
So we returned to Zion to pack up some food type Christmas gifts for 5 villages. We do this to show we care and to show Christ’s love and share in HIS blessings. We take our 5 year old (because he wanted to go) and one staff member to show us the way through the bush. Well, after the first stop the rain started very hard. The defrost did not work so the two in the front were wiping the whole time to keep the window clear enough to see through. We dropped at the second village (the farthest away). Then we get back on the tar road and the car quit. Yep, it just quit in the middle of the road. Now, the road is more busy than usual since people are traveling to their villages for the holiday. The 2 guys quickly jump out and I get behind the wheel so they can push us off the road. Thank God no one hit us!!! So, Travis and Lorna and Josiah (the 5 year old) start walking back to Zion while the staff member stays with the car. It took us at least an hour to walk back through the mud and rain and we were not close. We get back about 5pm get the 4X4 and go back out the mud filled road to tow the other car. So, the car toeing does not have break lights that work and the car being towed does not have breaks that work. WOW!!! We are in trouble. Luckily Travis put his had out the window when he was going to stop so I could start working the break and the hand break. Almost ran into the back of him but thankfully I never did. On the only turn to head to the garage, the steering locked so the car kept going to the left the car pulling stopped and my breaks did not work. HELP!! Well, just across the road was the garage so it all worked out to finally get the car there. BUT, there was no one at the garage so we left it outside the gate. It is never good to leave a car that is not locked in a gate or at least attended by a guard, but we did. We could not risk towing it anywhere else so we pray it will remain and no one will tamper with it until they open and can attend to it. OH, I am not sure that cars are a blessing!! I think God gave us 2 feet for a reason!!!
So, we were back in the village just before 8. Wet, exhausted and discouraged. Three villages with out Christmas gifts. Maybe by tomorrow the road will be better and we will be strengthened.
For the 2 villages that we were able to get to, they were so grateful. Josiah (the 5 year old) was able to recite Luke 2:11. For unto you is born this day in the city of David, a Saviour who is Christ the Lord.
Love and Merry Christmas from Travis and Lorna and Children of Zion Village!!!