Thursday, March 13, 2014

God Works When the Garbage Man Doesn't

I needed to get to the grocery store. It seemed like I was missing one ingredient from every dinner recipe in my admittedly tiny arsenal. But we don't have a car yet. So we have to wait until after 4:00 when the office closes to walk the block and a half to pick up the office car. The problem was that yesterday was garbage day. And on garbage day, you have to wait for the garbage truck to come by so you can put out your garbage. If you put it out too soon, it will end up strewn all over the sidewalk by the stray dogs and people searching for anything of value. The garbage truck was late. 4:00 came and went with no sign of the truck. If we left before it arrived it would be several more days before we could get rid of the growing pile of garbage. But if we waited too long, the office would be locked up tight with the keys to the car safely inside. And we'd risk being out after dark. The garbage truck was late and I was annoyed. I just wanted to get to the store and get home to make dinner. Finally, I was fed up. We decided to risk the mess and put the garbage out and made our way to the office.

We made it just in time to get the keys just as the last employee was leaving for the day and about to lock the door behind her. We jumped in the car and pressed the button to open the automatic gate that would allow the car access to the street outside. Nothing. Steve pushed it again. Nothing happened. He got out and investigated the sensors. He didn't see anything wrong. I sat in the car growing more irritable by the second. After about 15 minutes, Steve was finally able to call someone who was able to identify the problem and the door slid open. By this time, I was tired, hungry and downright cranky at all the delays.

Finally, we pulled into the parking lot of the grocery store and Steve found a spot close to the door but facing out toward the busy street and sidewalks. As I gathered my purse, I noticed two young men passing in front the car on the sidewalk. I don't know why I noticed them out of all the people passing by at that moment but I did. And my eyes met with one of the men as he turned and awkwardly stared at the gringos sitting in the car. His eyes lit up. My jaw dropped. A smile spread across his face as I fumbled to open my door and greet him. Milton, one of the students we ministered to when we were here in 2010, met us with big hugs, saying "I never thought I'd see you again. I missed you!" Of the over one million people living in Tegucigalpa, God brought us face to face with the one I needed to see!

Milton was one of our younger students and one of Nick's closest friends at El Sembrador. Now, he's all grown up and attending the university here in Tegucigalpa. He told us he was attending church and making good grades. Most importantly, he told us he loved us.

I can't help but think about all those delays in getting to the grocery store. If we had left even one minute sooner, we'd have missed seeing and reconnecting with Milton. And I would have missed what God was trying to do. I'm so glad the garbage truck was late and that God allowed us to be a tiny part of Milton's life again.

Little Milton with Little Nick and Little Omar at El Sembrador in 2010

No comments: