Take 5

Get under the bed!! GIRLS–just get under the bed!” is what I remember my mom and another missionary mom yell to us kids as they came into the bedroom we were waiting in as we heard the mob just outside our ‘safe’ walls. There were some angry townspeople surrounding our house that evening, and our parents were trying to figure out how to protect us from rocks that could at any moment be thrown through the windows. Our dads were out in the living room trying to figure out how in the world to protect this man from an ‘enemy’ tribe in the midst of an angry town of people. Not only that, but they were also trying to figure out how to protect their families as well. I cannot imagine what my mom and dad and our co-worker family went through. Cannot!! {And don’t want to!}

For about 6 months, we lived in a pretty secluded little ‘town’ in Ivory Coast, West Africa. There was a situation, and we took in a ‘rival’ tribesman for his protection. Lots of ‘town/tribe’ politics I won’t delve in at the moment, but needless to say: This guy was from an enemy tribe and he was on dangerous grounds. {And this was the early 1990’s!}

But, I knew my parents would always do what was right. This guy loved the Lord, but was from a tribe not from the folks of this little ‘town’, and they wanted him dead. Literally. And…us, as the harboring missionaries–if it came to that. They didn’t care who/what/where/when. They wanted this dude dead. I was about our oldest daughter’s age now (she is almost 10 years old), and I remember it like it was a couple of minutes ago. (Makes me really stop and ponder: Our kids are remembering our ‘now‘. Are we making it something memorable? Substantial? God-Hearty? Faith-filled? Transparent? Here’s a good one: Duplicatable?)

{If you want more details, or the full story, you MUST get the books called In This Place and In Every Place by Kim L. Abernethy. Yep–none other than my mom! She kept GREAT journals and details of the ‘play-by-plays’, and you simply must read them. There’s also an e-book option from Amazon. Look ’em up!}

So finally, my dad and the other dad of our co-worker family decided they’d take this man out of town in our car. It was a very old LADA. French made, I believe? Russian, maybe? Haha! Can’t remember. But, I do remember it was our only mode of transportation at that moment. They went to our car, turned the key in the ignition ready to speed off and get this man to safety! {Que the action movie music!} Dun-dah-dun dun…

Nothing.

Turns the key again…nothing.

{Engine sluggishly attempting to try to sound like it’s trying to try to turn over…}

Defeat. Unbelief. Doubt. Fear.

I remember my dad and our co-worker’s dad coming in with this man they were trying to protect. I don’t think I’ve ever seen defeat like that on my dad’s face or countenance since. He was droopy-shouldered and tight-browed. I can only imagine his thoughts at that moment: “GOD. GOD!!!!!!! Why?!! We had a chance, a small chance to escape and get this man to safety. WHY, GOD? WHY???!!! Why now?

Not long after that, I honestly don’t remember how much time lapsed, but we had some faithful fellow Christian townsfolks who worked with us there BUST in our house.

TEACHA!! TEACHA TEACHA! I SAY…you mah not go on the road!!!!! I say, they have a tree down across the way and they will kill this man and everyone else in the car. I say, you mah NOT GO tonight on the road.

WELL.THEN. And then there was that. To think that if they did go like they planned to get this man out of town, they would have come to this ambush. They would have all died. My dad would have been killed that night on that road in that car…that wouldn’t start.

This vivid memory has stuck with me like Gorilla Glue. All through my life: I remember this. When something deters or delays, I don’t doubt (or if I do start to get that whiny/complaining spirit, I get whiplashed back to the truth). It may be God saving me and my family, and I always want to be found faithful and THANKFUL in all of it. Some may say the enemy stops God’s work and delays good things. While partially true in the fact that the enemy does like to distract and to try to dismantle our efforts, it’s impossible for him to do so. What God wills and says will be done–WILL BE DONE. No matter what in all of the hellish forces there are. God’s will and His plans will always be carried out, and sometimes…it’s in a car that won’t start.

The one true God that I love and serve and know is a God of immaculate details. He’s so perfect. Every last detail from the beginning of this planet to it’s end was and is planned out to the most minute detail. The most amazing thing happens when love meets plans. The power of God’s love for His creation {us} and the power of His flawless planning meets when we go about our lives. AND, may I add, when we walk with Him humbly and in obedience to Him, our lives are able to line up as it was intended with timing and details.

Let Him have it.

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