Ashley and I have finished our time in Texas at S.O.M (School of Missions) and have started getting settled in and enjoying being back in Guatemala. When we left for Texas we had a residency meeting set for three days after our return flight to Guatemala. So let me tell you the tale of that wonderful day of the traffic, the residency, and the ticket booth.
The day started off leaving New Life Children’s Home at 6:30 in the morning. Our residency meeting was set for 8:30 in the neighboring city. Now in low traffic this is about a half hour drive, so why six thirty in the morning you ask? Traffic… Traffic is why. We were moving literally about five to six feet at a time. This wouldn’t have been so bad except I was driving a standard with a pretty hard-to-push clutch and every time I stopped we would move another five to six feet, and to make it worse it was mostly giant hills. MY LEFT LEG WAS THROBBING AFTER TEN MINUTES! So now every chance I get I’m throwing it in neutral and trying to massage my leg so it may continue to function the rest of the day. All this and don’t even get me started on all the lanes stopping because someone rear-ended someone and all the motorcycles zipping through the small spaces between cars passing traffic (ignoring a recent law that prohibits such driving between lanes. But props to the skills and reaction speed required for such driving..)
Finally (after driving past it once) we see the parking garage that we were told is the best place to park for our residency meeting. So I circled around a few blocks and pull up, press the button on the ticket machine and gain my passage into the garage. I receive the ticket and pull forward and hear quite a strange loud crashing sound as I pull away. Now I didn’t feel anything so I assumed it was just someone either A- crashing in the street (not all that uncommon, or B- simply someone driving over a loose storm drain the the garage (you know how sound is amplified in those places.) So I continue on my way looking for a parking spot. As I try to find a parking spot a man waves be over and knocks on my window. I compliantly roll down my window and he proceeds to inform me that I have broken the ticket machine. Now at this moment we are supposed to be at the residency meeting soooo this is not good! I apologized and asked what I needed to do, he took some of my information and my US drivers license and walked me down to the garage office where I would talk to the boss. After shaking hands and introducing ourselves he showed me the machine which had stopped dispensing tickets and was slightly twisted off of its base. I informed him that my spanish was a little rusty because I had just spent three months in the states, so he asked if there was anyone who we could call to talk so we could get this handled faster, so we called our great leader Kendon! A moment later the man handed us back our phone and said it was okay for us to leave for our meeting “because it is very important you make this meeting for your residency!” We were so thankful to hear those words!
Now we basically ran/speed-walked the two blocks to the government office and were to our meeting in no time! This is where things get strange, normally things don’t run this smoothly in these places but praise the Lord it did! Our lawyer who was helping us through the process told us this meeting would be about twenty minutes each and we could probably get in next! So sure enough after no time Ashley was in her meeting! We were told for this meeting we would have to be able to answer questions confirming our identity, questions like “What is your eye color? Birth date? Hair color? Height? Weight? Mothers middle name etc. Well none of that was necessary. We took a picture, verified our information on a computer screen and we were out of there in five minutes!! WE WERE DONE! IT WAS AWESOME!! Anyone who has dealt with third world government knows the excitement of how easy and quick that was!
Back to the garage… We got back and we were introduced to the garage insurance representative. He was kind and said this shouldn’t be a big problem and it should be done quick after our insurance representative gets here. So we were now sitting and waiting in the office, a small room with a desk for the boss and a wall of TV monitors showing security footage. Oh and the man controlling the monitors was graciously showing the footage of the moment I hit the machine over and over and over and over and over and over…. The best part was you could barely tell I hit the machine in the video haha. We had been waiting quite a while now so both the boss of the garage and Kendon had called the insurance company again asking where the representative was? During this time the man controlling the monitors informed me that someone had just broken a different part of the machine last week! We all had a good laugh over the situation.
Soon enough, because of the many phone calls, not just one but three representatives showed up haha! We were all laughing in the office joking that now we have a party! Luckily they figured out three of them showed up and two left and one came to help us. During the whole time we were waiting I was praying that all this would be covered and the Lord would deliver us from the mess. Praise be to God, He granted us my request!!! After some photos, paperwork, and our statement of what happened, the insurance guy made a phone call and said we were covered!! Now I was ready to run, not because of the relief of it all being covered but because I had to pee sense seven that morning and I had been holding it for three hours!! My bladder was screaming is pain! I asked where the bathroom was and victoriously relieved myself. Through another chain of events God blessed us by bringing us a man who stamped our parking pass with a free parking pass so we didn’t even have to pay for our parking all morning! God is Good!
Our day ended sitting in a McDonald’s, me eating a Big Mac attempting to celebrate our granted prayer and a successful residency meeting, and Ashley sitting trying to relax because she had not been feeling well and the stress of the day made her feel even worse so she didn’t think she could handle food at the moment. I would love to say that we were energized by the answers to prayer and blessings through this stressful day but honestly we were exhausted! Our stomachs were all twisted up and our chests were tight! Our bodies were aching from all the stress. But you know what, God was faithful, He was good to us, and we could rest in the peace that we were alive and in the end today was a victory.
Just another missionary story.