After connecting with my new friend Andres at that last Operation Christmas Child shoebox distribution in Colombia on Sunday night, I wanted to stay and enjoy his company. But the rain that had been falling intermittently was beginning again.
We gathered quickly to pray for Zulay, the woman who'd planned this shoebox distribution, and her team, and to leave them with a gift bag of ministry materials. We barely had time to exchange hugs before our bus driver hurried us to the bus. The locals told him we might not get up the hill to leave the village because of the rain.
We all clambered onto the bus and watched the rain through the windows as our driver began to slowly accelerate up the steep grade. The tires made a sucking sound as they sought traction on the slippery pavement.
Everyone in the bus began praying aloud (and loudly) with his or her own words. A chorus of "God, give us traction," and "Lord, get us up" mixed with other variations of the theme as we prayed and ground our way up--finally, with a cheer, to the top. Praise God!
But the adventure didn't end there. We started down the mountain and the rain fell harder. The wipers tried to keep up the pace as we watched the water swirling down the road.
When we came to an intersection that had a foot or more of water, the bus came to a stop. Water streamed down as the driver seemed to consider his options. I whispered to Carole who was sitting next to me, "We have plenty of water in the bus. I vote we sit here and wait." She nodded and replied, "They tell you never to drive through standing water like this."
Then we watched as a line of tiny yellow taxis began to bravely head up the grade in front of us. Not to be outdone, our driver joined in and started to pull forward.
video credit to Arthur Schalick
We inched up and ahead as the water swirled beside us. We kept praying and the bus kept moving. Time passed, the rain slowed, and we all cheered as we reached the relative safety of the highway where the only danger lay in dodging oncoming vehicles and the ever-weaving death-defying motorcycles. Thank you, Lord, for letting me see Your protection.