Monday, September 26, 2011
Girls' Night, Gas and The Gospel
"You free tonight?"
I got a call from Stephanie, aka: Best Friend, last night. Her hubbie offered to watch their kids if my hubbie was free to watch my kids so that Steph, who has four kids and I, who have three kids, could go somewhere fun without...our kids. Get it?
"Of course I'm free!"
So, dinner time rolls around and I roll over to pick up Steph. We finally decide on Mexican Food, which, by the way, is a very new option since we moved to our very New City. I know Jesus is probably for us stuffing our faces with enchiladas and re-fried beans, all for the Gospel. We suffer. I know this.
After cleaning our plates of any traces of taco sauce and r.e.a.l. cheese, our plan was to head over to a walking market that is open only on Sundays. And, oh my, what a walking market it was! I am glad my pockets were lighter that evening, or I would have taken the whole place home with me! I'll take you there if you ever come to visit us. ;)
As we approached the market area, we scanned around for places to park close. To no avail. I, the Genius, decided to turn down a side street in order to find an empty spot for our twenty-year old Toyota. Still not finding one and getting quite turned around, we attempt to make it back to the main road to try again.
Suddenly, sputtering...noises...and a loss of motion.
No big deal! Sometimes our LPG runs out and I have to switch to gasoline. I pressed the magic button and was met with more sputtering. Uh-oh. Maybe the wires to the battery had build-up again? Nothing a little Coke can't fix!
"Well, praise God!"
The little one-lane lane we turned into was starting to get backed up with cars coming from the opposite direction, so some wonderfully gracious Thai men got out of their cars or off of their motorbikes to push my car into a vacant lot. It was dark. Where were we, anyway?
After our helpers sped away, we were left in the vacant lot and both brainstorming as to what to do, what the matter was with the car, and how two little wives were going to remedy this problem on our own without our husbands to swoop in. Yikes.
Good thing we have a Husband who never leaves us and who always knows what to do! He's is the best!
"For your Maker is your husband--the LORD Almighty is his name--the Holy One of Israel is your Redeemer; he is called the God of all the earth." Isaiah 54:5
Stephanie noticed that there were two people sitting outside on the porch of their shack dwelling on the vacant lot. She apologized for the intrusion on their land and explained what was going on. They came over to investigate and the man lifted the hood to check out the situation. Bless his heart, it seemed like he wasn't handy with cars, but before we knew it, he and his girlfriend were on their motorbike, leaving with the promise of coming back with gasoline.
We thought that since we were in the middle of the city that the gas was running a' plenty. 20 minutes later, no sign of them. They were so sweet and sincere about helping us, that we knew they weren't bailing - but we started to feel so bad for barging in on their quiet night. We called our mechanically-inclined friends to ask for advice on the car situation. I was certain it was the battery. The Genius (me), again, makes the wrong call!
I try to start the engine again, with my cell phone close by, and my friend's Dad who was on the other end of the phone, wisely and graciously diagnoses the problem, "It sounds like a fuel problem!"
"It sounds like a fuel problem!" = "You sweet little, naive woman...fill up 'yer gas tank before you go out for a night on the town!"
So, the two Thais come back almost a half an hour later with a can of gas (not a proper one with a nozzle, mind you). The man starts to look around for a way to get it into the car, and Steph hands him a water bottle. Maybe that will work? He grabs a machete from his house and comes back to lop off the end with it and we stick it into the gas tank. Classic. Well, the safety closure inside wouldn't open properly, so he and his girlfriend spend the next 10-15 minutes rigging up a makeshift spout for the gas. A rubber garden hose about 10 inches long gets connected to a broken PVC pipe, which gets pushed into the mouth of our plastic bottle. And, all of it was sealed up with good 'ole Scotch tape. I am cracking up at this point, and in awe at the lengths they are going to help us out of our predicament.
Eventually, with much spilling and gasoline drenched-hands, the gas gets into the car. We start it up. There is rejoicing!
Because the thankfulness and humility over our situation, and because of how they gave up their night to help out two clue-less white ladies...how could we NOT share with them about Jesus?
After reimbursing them for all of their trouble, Steph and I insisted that we pray a blessing over them and acknowledge how God used our trial to create a divine appointment with these two. God is after people!
Steph clearly shared the story of Jesus and I prayed for God to bless them wildly and to reveal his plan for their lives. We gave them some tracts and noted to them that in them was the Story that changed our lives forever - so that they should read it carefully and take it to heart. At this point, I am bursting with joy! There is nothing better than passing along an invitation to encounter the Living God!
Steph and my plans' for fellowship and fun was grand, but God's plans were grander.
"In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps." Proverbs 16:9
Though, next time we go out, I am swinging by the gas station first.