We know that is true, but sometimes it seems more like a question than a statement of fact. We have been going through one of those times.
Many of you will recall the struggles we’ve had with our old Mazda for the last year or two especially. We’ve experienced a few roadside breakdowns and major repairs. While roadside breakdowns are never welcomed we’ve been blessed in the timing of those in that we’ve never had a team relying on the truck at the time; they have occurred only when it was us relying on the truck. The expense of major repairs is never welcomed either but until this month we’ve been able to weather the storm of major repairs.
Earlier this month our truck had been giving us some hints that she might need a little attention so another trip to our mechanic in Santa Rosa was planned for the 5th. We had plans to drive about 3 hours to the annual HFMM conference we attend for missionaries serving in Honduras on the 7th so we wanted to make sure she was up for the trip. Even more so because the team from OHC was coming down to serve with us on the heels of the conference.
On the way to the mechanic the truck overheated. It had done that while idling the afternoon before so I was ready with water just in case. I popped the radiator cap off very carefully to let the steam escape, then added more water. At that point I was hopeful that maybe it was just a bad thermostat. I was 2/3 of the way there so I figured everything would be ok for the rest of the trip. However, that wasn’t the case. Within two minutes of starting the truck the temperature and pressure in the cooling system shot up almost immediately. I shut it down before it red lined and then I started making phone calls. Fortunately I was near a great little coffee shop I hadn’t been to in quite some time. The coffee, baleadas and ticucos were fantastic.
Shortly after rope-towing the truck the rest of the way to Santa Rosa, and a quick review by the mechanic, it became apparent that there were serious internal problems in the motor. Considering all that we had already spent trying to keep her on the road and the overall condition, it became clear that the time to say goodbye to the Mazda had come. It just didn’t make sense to invest that kind of money to put her back on the road.
Missionary friends of ours helped with transportation back to La Campa and then to the conference. We are so thankful to them for helping us so that we did not have to miss the conference this year because it is an important time of learning and refreshment mentally and spiritually for us. Then our friend who we rent trucks from for our teams brought one of his rentals to us at the conference on Saturday afternoon so we could leave Sunday morning to meet the OHC team in San Pedro Sula.
So far God’s timing is pretty perfect. We began to look for a gently used Toyota Hilux (the gold standard here for quality and reliability) and quickly discovered that having a used Hilux to sell is much better than needing to buy one-the prices are nearly that of buying a new one. You might not get as many bells and whistles with the new one but still… We don’t need bells and whistles anyway. We need a big enough truck for teams with the durability to serve us in ministry where we live.
A friend of ours began to help us go down the path of buying a new, base model Toyota that comes with a 3 year warranty. So many other of our friends and supporting churches began taking up offerings to help us with the cost of the truck. Within a few days of the breakdown we had the truck picked out and began the purchasing process. The process is where the period was replaced by a question mark on the title of this article.
Why did the breakdown happen when it did? Why is it so much more complicated to buy a new truck here than it is in the U.S.? Why are so many papers needed? Why do you learn about all the papers that are needed one or two at a time? Why, why, why? Nobody, not our friends who helped, not the people at the Toyota dealership, not the people at the banks both here and in the U.S. did anything wrong. The process just is what it is, and sometimes the process takes longer than we want or need.
Our new truck was finally released from inventory and available for us to pick up on Saturday February 23rd. Because of the big festival in La Campa it was not really good for us to leave on Friday afternoon, spend the night in SPS, and come back Saturday evening. Why did it have to happen now? Why did we have to spend so much for the rental truck? More whys. Can you imagine how tired God must get of hearing us ask Him “Why?” all the time?
The bottom line is that God never promised that life as a follower of Jesus would be easy. And He never intended for us to be able to understand why (there it is again) He does and\or allows things to happen the way they do. Based on who He is, He has asked us to trust Him, to believe that He has our best in mind, to believe that He knows what He is doing, and to have faith that He will work things out in His timing. So that is where we have been for the last few weeks-whipsawing back and forth between resting and trusting in Him and His timing, and freaking out because it is taking sooooo long.
Despite the timing of all of this, God’s greatness has been on display for us through all of the help and encouragement that we’ve received, and all that we’ve learned. Not only what we’ve learned about the process of buying a new truck in Honduras and international banking, but more importantly, learning on a more personal and deeper level just how much God loves us and how perfect is His timing-even though we don’t understand everything.