The hits...they just keep on coming.
It is funny how life works sometimes, and usually when someone says "funny" they mean in a seemingly cruel, laugh so as not to cry" kind of way. I'll touch on that after I tell you why I say all this to begin with....
Tuesday night Oscar was on his way home. He had dropped off his family, then dropped off some friends that had gone with them to eat and see a movie. A few blocks from his house there was a robbery of a pulperia taking place. A truck was blocking the road (some windows broken, someone injured) and he saw he was not going to get by...so he quickly turned off his lights, stopped, and played like a parked car, so to speak. But it was for not...the gang members that were doing their evil deed saw him, and immediately proceeded towards him, guns drawn. Long story short...they took him, then put a bag over his head, and in another part of town kicked him out of the car after hitting on him a little, then with the bag over his head they tried to run him over. As God would have it...the bag was loose enough for him to see what was coming, and roll under a bus that was right there. As such, they hit the bus, not him. Then they took off. He found some kind people in this dangerous neighborhood who let him make a call (they report that it is common for dead bodies to be dumped there) and I was able to find him and get him home.
It could have gone so much worse...had they been doing this just a few minutes before when the truck was full and not just with him in it, had they kept him, shot him, etc. As we said to each other when I picked him up....God is not done with him yet.
He was in the wrong place at the wrong time, as simple as that. The car is given up for loss, the insurance company says in two months they should be able to cover the 80% of the insured amount...if he pays the 20% deductable. Better 20% "loss" than 100% however. Still...that is a huge financial blow to him and his family, not to mention all the "little" things he will have to replace....keys, locks, ID, credit cards, and the list goes on. Quite a few things fit in that little fanny pack.
Monday Celeo reported that the home they were using for Church meetings...was collapsing due to the major rains we have been having. To make matters worse...the owner of the house that has been so welcoming to a Church without a home, so to speak, was sick in the hospital here in Teguc, and his family was at his side...so it fell upon Celeo to go to the hospital to visit...and drop that bomb. Currently the only reason the adobe house is still standing (barely...not usable, just trying to protect the few things inside) is from the posts that were to be for the fence around the Church's property being used as makeshift reinforcements.
Then today we found that another break-in had happened at the clinic. The security cameras caught the masked bandit as he took his time inside the building seeing what all he could take....again we were "blessed" in that he just took our little stove top, the DVD player, the stove and supplies for the little shop that the women's counseling ministry has just started, etc. They thought about trying to jam the microwave out the window, but did not, and fortunately did not take some very expensive equipment of Valerie's that would have been of no value to them at a pawn shop.
We will be now looking at investing a lot of money we don't have to invest...but have no recourse, to greater fortify the windows and entire building...again. For various reasons I won't go into here...the night watchman we have had did not make the grab in this case. While I like the idea of electrifying the windows to give someone a reminder that what they are about to do is wrong...I am not sure we will be able to get that done.
So...thinking about that reminds me of some sermons I was listening to last week...about how if we are doing what Christ shows us to do, we will face trials...problems, etc. Sometimes I think we don't suffer enough...and not because I am some kind of masochist. But...like the apostles in Acts 5:41...sometimes we see "suffering" and instead of looking down and focusing on that suffering...we rejoice. I rejoice in the graffiti, in the trash, in the broken windows, in the feces left in the corner....in things that I can not even remember because I prefer to focus on and remember good rather than bad.
Still...the loss of a vehicle, some stoves, some equipment, homes falling down...if God makes it possible that can all be replaced, fixed, made better, etc.. But seeing the worry, the stress, the looking over of shoulders and trouble getting to sleep of some of us in these days...weeks, months of break-ins, threats, etc....I say again, emphatically, enthusiastically, and wanting to SHOUT:
By no means could we continue to labor if not for the prayers of those around the world for us and the work...and if not for God's powerful hand picking us up, encouraging through the Holy Spirit, pushing us forward. May we never fail to preach and teach the overwhelming and always Good News of Jesus Christ!