So we had one of those days yesterday. It's the kind of day that if it was to be repeated many times would wear you down – emotionally, spiritually, and physically. But in the end, it really was no big deal at all. First, Lucas is practicing defiance. He's trying it out. When asked questions he's likely to shout “NO!” regardless of what you ask. And he's been waking up around 5:30 in the morning. Add these two together and you have very long days with lots of consequences, time-outs, and temper tantrums (for Lucas too). Meanwhile we're praying that God would open doors for adoption (PLEASE pray with us about this!). Add Luke's general attitude and behavior to our nanny not showing up to work, having to have our language tutor meet at our house, having Luke go nuts and meltdown in a major way. It's 92 degrees – I know, I know, it's gonna get hotter blah blah, but 92 is still HOT.
Tricia was excited to test her driving skills by taking us downtown to the Freedom Way post office. If you've been in a vehicle with her, you know that she likes to drive... SLOW. Add her usual desire to cruise at or below the speed limit to driving in a city of 2+million and you'd be right to guess that she never gets close to going the speed limit. As a car passed us on the left a policeman stepped out in front of us and flagged us over the side of the road. I should have been paying better attention but I was on the phone and saw the speed trap too late. I did all the things that people have recommended when pulled over. I argued the truth – we were not speeding, checked the radar gun, insisted I did not have the kwacha to pay immediately. To no avail; they wrote up our license plate and Tricia's license number and told us to pay the k67,500 ($13) ticket at central police in 7 days. We'll see what comes of that!
We made it downtown and parked in front of the post office and went to pick up a box from my folks and mail a box for some friends. When I came back out to the truck, all the doors were unlocked. Hmmm. I was certain I had locked them. I looked around inside and saw that nothing important was missing – except about k8,000($2) from the ashtray. I went to the police post about 50m from where the truck was broken into, and of course, no cops. They were busy giving tickets to “speeders.” The lock was jammed from the instrument they used to break in and the door would not shut. Faced with having to drive around town holding my door shut with one hand, I took a deep breath and tried one more time to shut the door. It worked! A much needed moment of mercy from the Lord. With our box of goodies from my folks (Tricia handed out rice crispy treats to the postal workers) in had, we made it back home.
So here's the big deal – days like this can make a person tired, angry, and bitter. I mean, an unfair ticket (extortion) and a theft – from the people we are here to serve!! But we live in a city of 2 million – of course there is crime and corruption. Instead of feeling angry or bitter, we thanked the Lord! Even if we have to pay the ticket, it's only $13. The thieves only stole $2 and we were never in danger or afraid. Pray that we can maintain this level of grace when things happen that are much worse. Missionary friends in Mexico were robbed at gunpoint by masked men wielding machine guns!! Pray for all our brothers and sisters in the really scary places who are trying to serve, heal, help, and love their neighbors and even their enemies. Our day was frustrating – but we give thanks to God for His mercy and provision. Pray with us.