COME YE THANKFUL PEOPLE-by Regina
There are sound economic reasons why vehicles are so expensive in Africa, but go tell that to God. We were advised by many who know these things that we simply needed more money than we had budgeted in order to buy a vehicle that would survive the rough village roads. There was nothing to do but pray. Here’s what happened:
Dan and our loyal South African friend Rassie found a 1998 Nissan Hardbody four-wheel drive bakkie (that’s a pickup, for you Americans), complete with double-cab (for hauling lots of people) and canopy (for securely hauling luggage, building materials, etc.) Because the seller is emigrating to Australia within a week, he sold it for about half the going rate. Not only that, he held it for us for five days while we waited for our money to be wired from the States. During that time, numerous people called about it, two of whom offered him $750 above the asking price-to which he replied, “No, it’s already sold to a missionary” (although he had not yet received a cent from us!) The truck has been very well-maintained and a mechanic is now putting finishing touches on it. It is MADE for Africa, and we can’t wait to get it on the road headed north. Our three days here in Pretoria looks like it will stretch into about three weeks (bless our long-suffering hosts!) while we wait for paperwork to be completed, but meanwhile we are learning to wait and to trust.
On this sunny Thanksgiving Day 2009, we’re hardly missing the pumpkin pie because our hearts are so full of gratitude! Truly, God is going before us. I’m thinking often these days of Pilgrim women leaving loved ones to board ships headed for the great seas and many uncertainties…of Abraham and Sarah leaving country, people and father’s household for a land God would show them. When I see what’s left of my kitchen stuffed into our suitcases with our clothes, I think of pioneer women departing from St. Louis, Missouri with a few precious items tucked into the corners of covered wagons. I guess we’re in good company, poised to see the faithfulness of a God who gently but purposefully leads us.
“For God has said, ‘I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. I will not, I will not, I will not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let you down nor relax my hold on you. Assuredly not!’ So we take comfort and are encouraged and confidently and boldly say, ‘The Lord is my helper; I will not fear or dread or be terrified. What can man do to me?'” (Hebrews 13:5b,6 Amplified).