We have been transitioning to the beautiful country of Nicaragua for the past month (or so). Before we moved, we had discussed expectations and tried to carefully recognize every expectation we had, so that our transition would be easier than expected.
Much to our surprise things seemed to fall into place faster and easier than our expectations. Our teammates were great at preparing us, talking about expectations and pacing us slowly. We got settled into our house much faster than expected and felt like we could begin meeting our church and school leaders.
The kids started school and although it was not a perfect start to the school year, things seem to be falling into place for the boys. We have been thoroughly blessed to have our kids at such an amazing school, one with a passion for missionary kids.
Barry went with our teammate to a town a few hours away (Matagalpa) to work with a team from Canada. I had been preparing for Barry's time away since we had arrived here in Nicaragua. Barry left on Saturday evening and I began the venture of being a single mom in Nicaragua (with the knowledge that our other teammate would be caring for her family during the week as well).
Although the week was not without glitches, it was going much better than my expectations. The boys and I were doing well and were not "just" in the house. We ventured out to eat with our teammate and her kids, had ice cream after school one day, and I went to the grocery store.
Thursday morning I dropped the boys off at school and was heading to my teammate's house. We were going to go visit one of the schools in Tipitapa. And that is when life came to a screeching halt.
I did not know exactly where her house was. However, I knew I was close. I saw a "parking lot" and thought I would pull in there, park and give her a call. As I turned in, a motorcycle decided to try to go around me (on the right). Yes, you got it...he ran right into the side of my car.
Within seconds there were 20-30 police (the parking lot was a parking lot for the Criminal Investigations Police Department). An ambulance arrived. The police took my driver's license and other important documents. It all seems like a dream. It all was so different; it all was so new (I had never been pulled over, given a ticket or in an accident while driving in my past); it all was so interesting. And yet all I could think about was the man on the motorcycle.
There are lots of details to the story about my two day ordeal with the police; however, the important details are that the man is alright and that there are no long term consequences for either of us.
When life came screeching to a halt Jesus began speaking, opening my eyes, and giving His peace.
The Lord brought scriptures to me:
"For our present troubles are quite small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever! So we don't look at the troubles we can see right now; rather we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever." 2 Corinthians 4:17-18
"You are the most handsome of all, Gracious words stream from your lips. God himself has blessed you forever. Put on your sword, O mighty warrior! You are so glorious, so majestic! In your majesty, ride out to victory, defending truth, humility and justice. Go forth to perform awe-inspiring deeds! Your arrows are sharp, piercing your enemies' hearts. The nations fall before you, lying down beneath your feet. Your throne, O God, endures forever and ever. Your royal power is expressed in justice. You love what is right and hate what is wrong. Therefore God,your God has anointed you, pouring out the oil of joy on you more than on anyone else."
"We try to live in such a way that no one will be hindered from finding the Lord by the way we act, and so no one can find fault with our ministry. In everything we do we try to show that we are true ministers of Gd. We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. We have been beaten, been put in jail, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights and gone without food. We have proved ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, our sincere love and the power of the Holy Spirit. We have faithfully preached the truth. God's power has been working in us. We have righteousness as our weapon, both to attach and to defend ourselves. We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us."
2 Corinthians 6:3-8
The Lord opened my eyes.
The injustice in life (especially in developing countries) is often the norm. Kids (and adults) are fearful of police. Truth is not fought for. Abuse of power is all around me.
And maybe, just maybe, the Lord wanted me to experience injustice, personally, so that, I can understand the hearts of the people all around me. So that I can sympathize and can cry with the beautiful people of Nicaragua (and other Central American countries). So that I can understand the hopelessness that is felt.
The Lord gave me His peace.
To say I was nervous was an understatement. Having to explain everything in Spanish (and with new vocabulary and with a new Nicaraguan accent) seemed impossible. However, every step of the way the Lord was with me.
As I returned to the police department on Friday to finish the process, I had a strange peace. No, I did not want to be there. No, I did not expect justice to be served.
I had been praying that the Light of the Lord would be seen. That every person I came in contact with would miraculously see Jesus, somehow. I prayed that somehow, some way Jesus would be glorified.
And as I walked into the police department I had a peace that He was with me. And He was in control.
Sometimes when life comes screeching to a halt it is for Jesus to reveal Himself, it is for Jesus to do something special, it is for Jesus to be glorified.