Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Toward The Border

That evening we boarded a bus for a four and a half hour ride to our next location. Our driver was a psycho! He passed cars, busses, and trucks on blind curves -- countless times. In the middle of nowhere, we ended up sitting for an hour while they cleared away an accident. After a while, we just resigned ourselves to God's protection. I can guarantee you that the guardian angels riding with us chewed their fingernails down to the quick!

We arrived late in the evening. We walked in a light rain at least another mile to a hotel. All the Roadmakers would be together for the night. We met up at a restaraunt to eat. Frank, who could converse in the native language, ordered our food. We asked God to bless it -- thankfully, none of us got sick. We swapped war stories amid an atmosphere of deepened camaraderie.

Back at the hotel, we divvied up materials for the next day's mission, then tried to get some sleep. We got almost none; deafening thunder claps, brilliant lightning, and torrential downpours kept us awake. Throughout the night, we prayed for the rain to let up. In the morning, God took charge of the weather and the rain stopped.

Once again, we got on public transportation and sought out our villages. Bill and Charles went one direction and Evan and I went another. The route Evan and I took revealed incredible vistas: mountains shrouded in clouds as the sun peeked through, washing the lush green patches of corn and rice in soft light.

We traveled southeast and made drops in several small villages. We walked on. Our primitive map said, "Look for a large tree and turn left into the next village." Believe it or not, the tree stood out among thousands of others! We turned, circled the quaint village, and left the good seed without incident.

Next we headed northwest and came upon another village. I spotted a great place to make a drop and reached for a packet. Just before I released my grip, I was surprised to see there was already one there! Bill and Charles were supposed to end their route at a beautiful island village. They got mixed up, crossed a bamboo bridge, and had already covered the village that we were in. But God kept our mission a secret, and we quickly found our way out.

We came to a river and spotted a group of young migrant workers. We saw that they were smoking something, and watched them scurry to hide their contraband. When we walked up to them, they let us take pictures of them and their make-shift camp site. We continued on, crossing a bamboo bridge that spanned a shallow creek.

Working our way through a dense patch of bamboo and brush, we came to an absolutely filthy stream -- another open sewer. It was no more than twelve feet wide, but we did not want to wade across it. I had an open wound on my foot and did not want to risk an infection; our mission was far from complete. We dragged a couple of long bamboo poles to the edge and made a bridge we could scamper across. Soon we were safe on the other side, making drops and heading toward the border. Another mission completed!

At the border, though, four of the Roadmakers ran into all kinds of trouble!

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