Timing is important
We woke up early to have some quiet time with God. We ate and then we loafed around the beach. The waves were treacherous from all the rain. The morning was relaxed with preparation, but lunch was late. We were late. Our bus driver was very late. Then, suddenly, we were rushing on a tight schedule.
The place we meet in at the City of God is a two story quasi-house. The first floor is a locked home, and the second floor is big meeting room with a balcony. With about 35 kids who don’t regularly go to school or have home discipline, it is a loud place to be.
We marched in time, counting off um and dois as ones and twos, to go from art, where they drew around a memory verse, to a game, where they were guided blindfolded through an obstacle course to show that we need Jesus to guide us. We do everything to include Jesus in every activity. It was difficult to rush the three groups past each other on a flawless time schedule, but our team, with the help of translators and God’s grace, did a seamless job. It’s always hard to leave them when they’re hanging off our arms as we get back in the bus.
After that, the plan was to head to a Presbyterian church for dinner; this would be followed by the homeless shelter. Of course, God has better timing. Apparently, there are many illegal vans that travel through the area we were in. The police like to pull vans over randomly and check documentation. They often try to find a small mistake in the driver’s contract and ask for a little bribe money to let the bus go. So, we got pulled over.
But God’s timing is impeccable. We didn’t have much clue what was going on and then we got a phone call on the driver’s phone. Jessica decided to answer the phone the second time it rang. It was Suzana. We explained what appeared to be going on then she filled in the gaps. Carl got us to start praying. The driver said he needed Suzana’s number, so Suzana, with perfect timing, called right then.
We prayed for a bit longer then started using the time we had to plan for Cidade de Deus the next day. The driver came back to the window 30 minutes later to say he needed to talk to someone from the group. There were issues that needed to be resolved. Again, Suzana called right at that moment. The police, surprisingly, let us go right after that. After the fact, we learned the police could have forced us off the van and held us for a very long time.
The bus driver has become a dear friend to us. He got married on the beach with a luau and now his wife teaches pilates on the beach. They’ve been burned by religion but still are looking for Jesus. The other day, after we talked about life and Jesus with him, he said, “God never gives up on me.” Pray for Ivandro, our wonderful bus driver.
We are discouraged that we didn’t get to the homeless shelter. It’s hard when we’re trying to make the most of helping people for the short time we’re here. On the other hand, we were encouraged to see God work in our driver’s life. We are excited to see what God is doing in Cidade de Deus. Please keep praying for us as we try to trust that God is in control even in the least controllable situations.
Don't miss Day 4.