Happy New Year! Hard to believe it’s been weeks since my last post, but, as usual, it has been a busy, crazy few months. We were blessed to share a wonderful Christmas and New Year’s with our friends (who are like family!) here in Ecuador. Then, January 5th, my mom and my niece, Martha, came to visit for a bit over two weeks. What an amazing time we had, sharing our ministry and country with them, while helping them to understand a bit more clearly what we do and how God is at work in this place.
I thought I would share a bit about how we are managing to get around these days. Last year, about this time, we realized that a vehicle would be a wise purchase, enabling us to have more mobility, flexibility, and a means to extend hospitality (by being able to buy more groceries than just what we could carry on the bus and get enough to share meals with others!) Thankfully, the Lord led us to Howard and MaryAnn Scholl, our neighbors in Calacali. They were heading back to the States, and had a 2006 Nissan truck to sell. We moved forward with the purchase as we could verify the history and maintenance of the vehicle and work with English speaking people to complete the sale. Certainly an investment, vehicles in Ecuador are extremely expensive, but they do retain their value (to a point). The truck may be a little small for great comfort, but affordability was more of an issue than leg room.
Anyway, this truck is serving us well. Except for some problems with the battery and a flat tire, we have been able to “truck” around much of Ecuador. Our long-legged boys barely fit in the extended cab, but have one great option…the truck bed.
The bed of the truck has been our saving grace with extra people, stretching out leg space, or just the option of getting out and viewing the Andes mountains in the open air. Rain is always an issue and concern, but, unless you are sitting at a stoplight (high likelihood) or in a torrential downpour (happens here and there) the wind keeps most of the wetness off when you are cruising along. (Oh, and the well placed tarp pulled up over your head helps as well).
So, many a person has traveled in this way, and, while we are still looking for a topper to protect our stuff when we travel (both from rain and someone grabbing things out of the back), we continue to make the most of this special little truck and are thankful for the places it takes us, and the people who are willing to ride along!
It’s interesting, as I sorted through these pictures, that riding in the back of a pickup truck is kind of analogy of certain points in our walk with God. Many times, we are facing backwards, looking at what the past has been, wondering what it all means, maybe facing regrets and bad decisions. We see where we have been, and often times know full well the consequences of the sins we have committed.
BUT, when we are sitting in the back of the truck, we are, most often, still moving forward. We are continuing on a journey that is not stagnant, not stuck in reverse. Oh, even the rain may come, but we at least have a tarp to cover us, protecting us from the drenching. And, if we continue to move forward, the saturation is less. We have the vantage point of viewing the landscape changing and fading behind us, but we also have the benefit of seeing where we’ve been, and knowing that we are pushing onward. We may not even have a visual of what is in front of us, where the road will lead, but we know the driver is leading on, and we trust.
Our past is real, and often comes with pain and regret. But, we move forward, learning from the past, cushioned on this road with the forgiveness and grace of our Driver, the one in whom we trust. Do you trust Him today to relieve you of your past, and completely control your future? I pray you have this hope that is found only in Him, our Savior and Lord.
Now this is what the Lord says—
the One who created you, Jacob,
and the One who formed you, Israel—
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by your name; you are Mine.
2 I will be with you
when you pass through the waters,
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not overwhelm you.
You will not be scorched
when you walk through the fire,
and the flame will not burn you. Isaiah 43:1-2
Enjoy the view, knowing you are in His hands, past, present or future –