A couple weeks ago one of my teammates, Hannah, and I went out to the village. We wanted to interview some people from one of her Bible Studies to learn more about their culture and people group. We started off our day like any other. We met with her translator and started talking about the different people groups in South Asia. We were waiting for an auto driver we had called to take us, but he didn’t come... and didn’t come... Finally an hour later he shows up and we start on our way. We drove about forty minutes out of the city. Imagine, we’re in an auto rickshaw driving down dirt roads in between small crop fields and going by houses made out of clay or brick. Some people might liken it to an Indian Jones experience. In the village, we went through what looks like a small village, take a left here and a right there.
Our driver and translator were in the front talking very rapidly. Soon we left the village and as we continued on, it looked like we were in part of the city again. Pretty soon, chug..chug..chug…….We ran out of gas, and now we’re in the middle of the road. Turns out the village that we went through was our destination, but our driver had to go back into the city in order to fill the auto with gas. So there we were... stranded. Now as you can imagine, moments like this bring you two options. One you can be very frustrated, at the driver, at life, at everything in this situation – or – you can just laugh at the situation because it is what it is. Thank the Lord Hannah and I were in a good mood because we were laughing so hard at what had happened. While our driver was trying to find people to push us to the gas station, Hannah and I took pictures of us stranded, and then pretending to drive the rickshaw. Perfect timing for a photo shoot! The driver talked with a vickram driver to push us to the gas station. We had started going again when pretty soon we were rolling to a stop. The vickram (since it’s a public transportation vehicle) had to stop to let someone out. About a half minute later we jolted forward a couple times and the vickram was pushing us again. Eventually we got to the gas station, wandered around looking for food while we waited, and then got back on the road to go back to the village.
We got there in ten minutes and talked with our friends. Of course half of the village shows up to watch us talk. We were visiting a young man who is 18 and considered one of the Christain leaders. He goes to school in the morning and then teaches the children in the village in the afternoon. He has a huge heart of gold and wants to help anyone he can. Along with tutoring the kids, he shares the stories from the Bible with them. The week before, Hannah had taught about Moses, and this young man had never heard that story before. It was astonishing to me as I had grown up learning about the Exodus from when I was little. But that doesn’t matter. This young man has a heart to share Jesus with the kids in his village. Praise the Lord! So we’re thrilled to be able to equip and empower him. At the end of our fellowship a few snake charmers had come. So they asked if we wanted to see the snakes being charmed. YES! That’s not something you can see every day. I was terrified, but it was very entertaining. Then they asked if I wanted this cobra to be held around my neck…um..NO! Being ten feet away was close enough for me. We said bye to everyone, got back in our auto, and came home. This was a day I will never forget. But more than that I’m thankful for the mishaps, for the laughter, for the enthusiasm for a young man, for the privilege to share this life and joy of Jesus with others!