We begin the morning with another school visit in Zone 21. The kids were amazing as we were able to share the message of The Gospel to over 400 kids from ages 4-14 years old. Our teams were awesome loving on and playing with all the students. The presence of The Spirit was evident and we exited the facility feeling excited and encouraged by the response of all the students and faculty. Our vehicles were parked 1/2 mile away and everyone hurriedly headed back up the steep (very steep) grade in an effort to stay on schedule for our departure to Patzun…….. It was then that God showed up in a way that stunned all of us!
As we approached our vans (exhausted from from the climb) one of our drivers/translators (Walter) observed a very large trash truck trying to squeeze by on a extremely narrow street. The truck ended up hitting and damaging one of our vans and could not pass. As we approached and tried to resolve the issue tempers flared and the situation became very volatile. You see, in this economically depressed culture many companies require their employees to pay when involved in an accident and the consequences for failure to do so could result in the loss of their life. So as you can imagine accepting responsibility for for an incident when you do not have the means to compensate can create a lot of volatility. But someone has to pay. Well, the insurance adjuster was dispatched and we waited, and we waited, and we waited. Our “mission”efforts on hold. Our departure for Patzun delayed, Their team huddled up the street and our team huddled separately down by our vans.
Some of our team suggest we take them up some water bottles and a few snacks we had left from the mornings school visit. We believed this would relieve the tension they were feeling but hey, they still have to pay. We did so and it was well received and we retreated back down to our area.
Then, someone suggested we go and give them each a salvation bracelet and a card with the plan of salvation written in both Spanish and English. Our translator went up and ask and they approved. Our entire team went up, gathered around these 5 men and prayed for protection for them and their families for any repercussion directed their way as a result of this incident. As we prayed circled in the street, cars passing and people walking past, the presence of God began to be revealed. Tensions were gone, replaced by handshakes and hugs. And we waited for the adjuster to show up to determine how much “had to be paid”.
The adjuster arrived , a settlement amount was determined and in the process Pastor Jamie recognized the operator of the truck as his teacher when he was in school. WOW! In a city of 2 million people this was no accident. Stories were shared and the resolution reached. Our team and Ivy Creek Church “payed the fee”, contact information was exchanged and after a 3 hour delay we’re on our way to Patzun.
Hours later after dinner in Patzun we understand the gravity of what occurred earlier in the day. The gospel was revealed to these men in a real and tangible way. Someone must pay for our sins. HE has. We’ve been humbled today by being a part of what God is doing in Guatemala.
Expectantly excited about the days ahead.
— Tim Oliver