All kinds of adventures await me when I go into town! On Monday I went to the driving school to take the next step in the process of getting my license, since I had done well on the practice tests and begun the process to register for the written exam. The administrator told me to deposit $8 in a certain bank account, then arrive early Wednesday morning to prepare documents for the exam.
I deposited the money on Tuesday, printed proof of the transaction, and arranged for a neighbor to accompany me into town on Wednesday. We left at 6:15 on a crowded public transportation van, and arrived at the school when it opened at 7:00. The administrator there gave me a collection of documents to take to a government office where my photo would be taken and put on another document; I would sign that document, make four copies of it, and take the copies to the school. He said that the next step in the process would happen the next week, so that the following week I could actually take the exam, which I had thought I would be able to take that day.
The public vans were very crowded due to morning rush hour, so my neighbor and I walked, for about 20 minutes, to the government office. We waited outside with other people until it opened around 8:00, then entered and stood in a line inside. Shortly, we were told that the computer system for take photos and generating documents was down. I asked for clarification, whether that meant we should wait for it to come back up or whether we wouldn’t be able to get the documents that day. The advice I received was to wait. So wait I did . . . for three hours!
The few people who had arrived before me left one by one, until I was first in a line that grew longer and longer. When I considered giving up for the day, I remembered that Wednesday was the only day of the week these documents are created, and I considered the effort involved in getting into town, including securing a companion. So I stayed until an official announcement was made that the system wasn’t expected to come back up anytime soon and we were advised to leave. My neighbor and I bought groceries on the way home. Even though I hadn’t come anywhere close to actually taking the driving exam that day, as I had hoped, I had still enjoyed my outing in town with the typical African experience of a long wait.
On Friday, as usual, I caught the bus from the international school for the trek across town to where I teach music lessons and attend Taekwondo class. I texted my trusted taxi driver, who agreed to pick me up at 6:00 and bring me home. At 5:25, I finished my last lesson and started heading across the property to spend my half-hour there saying goodbye to one family of my music students who is moving to another city. At that moment I received a text from the taxi driver, profusely apologizing for an emergency that had just come up and would prevent him from giving me a ride.
I was in a bind to find transportation home at the last minute, and the fact that it was already dark made it unwise for me, as an unaccompanied foreign woman, to use public transportation or just any taxi. I prayed for God’s help, confident that He would give it — which He did! As I approached the home I was visiting, thinking I would have to spend my time there on the phone trying to procure a reliable taxi, I passed an American family who serves on the same side of town as I live, getting in their car ready to head home, with an extra seat and happy to help me out! I quickly knocked on the door of the family I was visiting, explained the situation, said goodbye in 30 seconds, and jumped in the car for my divinely-appointed ride home. It was earlier, faster, cheaper, more convenient, more comfortable, and more enjoyable than what I had arranged, with perfectly orchestrated timing so that I crossed paths with that family at the exact time I discovered I needed a ride. Isn’t God good?
What’s more, since I arrived home much earlier than expected, I met my colleague Bonifácio, who was just then leaving for his home. He showed me the new motorcycle he had acquired that afternoon, God’s provision of transportation for his family and ministry after months of our earnest prayers regarding that need. I rejoiced as we together thanked our Lord for His bountiful gift and asked Him to bless its use for His glory. Truly, our God is good!