Where did your Christmas journey take you? I left home at 3:00 am on December 24 to catch a bus to a city in the next province. There a friend met me and took me to a restaurant for a relaxing visit. When I received a call from my next ride, a German doctor and Australian nurse headed to the same remote destination as I, we zipped across town on motorcycle taxis to meet them.
With a brief introduction, I jumped into the covered, mattress-cushioned bed of their pickup, relishing the spaciousness I shared there with one local man in contrast with the tight squeeze on the bus. After an hour and a half on the highway, he got out and we turned onto a dirt road where the fun really began. The constant, jarring bumps precluded the rest my body was demanding after the shortened night of sleep; I sat upright and gripped the base of the open window as I bounced around.
We eventually parked at a rural health post where our host was waiting with his sons and employee to bring us the rest of the way in his own vehicle, since that final stretch of road was quickly becoming impassable as the rainy season set in. As if on cue, rain began pouring down just as we met him, resulting in five soaked people and lots of luggage being packed into the double cab of his pickup, with more in its open bed. It was a wild and risky ride that tested the limits of four-wheel drive as torrents of rainwater gushed down and across the road we traversed, but in the end, with God’s protection, we arrived safely at their home to celebrate Christ’s birth together!