Sunday, June 6, 2010
1. "They are taking us to jail now"
2. "My phone is almost dead"
It's really not good when #2 immediately follows #1!
To back up just a bit, John went to Mozambique with Pastor Sthembiso & some members of the church this past week for an outreach. They were working in Xiaxia with some friends of ours that have a Youth For Christ base. Sthembiso's church had been once before & were eager to go again. The trip was a short one, from Tuesday to Friday, with lots of driving over very bad roads. Not to mention the hassle of crossing the border, pulling a trailer loaded down with donations. Potholes a foot deep are common in Moz, as well as corruption. But the ministry time was well worth it.
In the town of Xiaxia, there is a bridge that you have to pass over to get into & out of the city. Getting in is no problem, but to exit the city, you have to pay a toll. Well, in their case, it was the Hotel California...you can check out anytime you like, but you can never leave!
I got a text from John that said, "Pray. Heavy fine or jail". So, I immediately called him. I thought he was already at the border of Moz & SA. Nope, just the city, and apparently without the paperwork that nobody had ever heard of. Evidently, there is a new law, that if you are transporting people, you need some paper. Or there is a heavy fine or jail. So, our call pretty much went like this: "Where are you?" "I'm in Xiaxia & they are taking us to jail NOW" "For what?" "Paperwork stuff. Mark is on his way but the guy won't wait. My phone is going dead, so you probably can't get a hold of me. Gotta go." "Turn off your phone & I'll call back in an hour."
Not a fun conversation! And then getting NO information for 3-4 hours is not fun either! But, it all worked out fine. Mark made it there before they took them to jail & impounded the vehicle, they convinced the policeman to let them go type up the papers they needed, took them to be stamped & then were on their way. And afterwards, it was easier to see God's hand in it...they were stopped 6 more times before they got out of Mozambique. If they hadn't been so close to Mark, they would not have been able to get the proper papers & probably would have been in jail...for who knows how long!