My account of Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Often we get ask about our daily life here. What do we do in a day? Here’s an example of things that come up.
How was your day? Does it top ours?
James 4:7 “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”
Renewing a Driver License in Our World
As you read this, keep in mind that six months ago Chuck renewed his license in two steps. He went right in, did the paperwork, no eye tests, just a photo and picked it up the next day. Six months later, this is what I have to do…
A funny thing happened today. As we were standing in line in a government office (because there were no seats in the room filled with a few hundred people), I looked around at the crowd. Chuck had just gone to ask the military lady if they respected preference for senior citizens. They call it third age here. You know, like we’re on our last leg. She said yes, so we got to STAND and wait for the next possible desk to take us. I turned to Chuck and said, “Look around, there are no old people here. Probably because they are either dead or can no longer drive. He chuckled––no pun intended. Well, yes, it is intended.
Chuck said, “Aren’t you glad I look old, so we get to skip up the line?”
“Yes, I am,” I replied. “And, you should have brought along that cane you don’t use anymore. It would have added to the look.”
Now, I have to tell you this license renewing process has been going on for weeks—yes, weeks. It started with going first to find out how to begin the process because things change daily here. We arrived at the police station and climbed five flights of stairs (try that at 8,500 feet). Did I mention the looks we get as we make our way? We are strange looking of course, (blonde hair, fair skin) so many stares—like who are they and what are they doing here. Used to be lots of us here but no more. So, we arrive on the fifth floor and then get ushered into a room. Oh wait, we’re told first to go get a ticket so we can then stand in line. Where do we get the ticket? At a bank across town. We take a taxi so the process goes faster because of traffic and no parking spaces in the main part of the city. We buy the ticket and return to the police station. First, we go across the street to a small room. I sit on a stool without smiling and have four photos taken that we were told to get. Then, back to the police station where they told us to come back tomorrow. But, it’s the weekend, so next week. Now we are in the second week.
Week two and three… Did I mention a trip to the eye doctor because my eye is bothering me? It turned out it’s just dryness because of the dust and dryness here right now. A few drops a day and all’s better. So, we go back to the police station the next week. I get in line, an hour later I get my eye exam—I passed of course but on my form it says my eyes are illuminating—probably the new bionic eyes they have never seen before. I pass and get the form. We’re told to come back in a few days to pick up the license. That office is located in a different part of town where they process all documents. That brings us to Monday––we go to pick it up.
By now we’ve paid about $50. We find the right person and ask to pick it up. She asks for my background check. No one said anything about a background check until now. Chuck explains he didn’t have to do that—well I do need one. We have to go back and pay $20 and get a form to proceed. We go to a bank, get the form and return to the office. He stamps my form, and we head to the police station again for the background check. The next day we return at two minutes till 3 pm and are told we have to come back in the morning, they close at three—something new we didn’t know.
This morning, Wednesday…
We head out early this morning so we won’t be standing in line in the afternoon heat. So there we stand, two third age (old) people waiting for our turn. They call my name, Margaret. I always wonder who that is at first. I am usually Margarita here—everyone calls me that, but then the new law that all government forms have to have my passport name on them. And now another problem. I’m finally called to the desk. We go through the finger prints, again, a photo, again, all the questions, again, and then he says to Chuck, “You understand more Spanish—right?” What?? Okay, he does all the government work and yes, he handled government work for many missionaries over the years but, hey, I know what you’re saying right here in front of me. I speak the language too. No, I didn’t say that out loud.
So he says to Chuck, “She has an alert here on her ID card. When it has these two letters after her number, it alerts us to stop the process and investigate why she can’t have a license. Someone will investigate why she has this alert.” Okay, you know I am the one who always gets checked in airports, both here and there. But now, we find out my ID for here—renewed last year—is marked as a person to check before they renew my license or any other official business. Are you still with me. I’m not making this up. Truly, truly!
As we sit waiting, the TV is showing alarming scenes of things taking place in another part of the country. They finally call us back and send us to a different desk. He explains that I have three different names in the system, and they can’t give me a license until this is corrected. They send us upstairs to the desk for foreigners. We talk to one lady; she sends us to another desk. They are sorry, but I can’t get a license. We ask what we can do to fix this. The answer is nothing until they fix it in the system. So how do we do that? After much discussion, she gives us a name. We have to write a letter. We leave there knowing this will take months and months. We call our lawyer (brother of our pastor’s wife). To save time, because it is almost 12 pm when everything will shut down until 3 pm, Chuck heads to the lawyer’s office in a taxi while I go to do a few errands and meet up later. We meet up again. Chuck goes to pick up a few things to finish our painting jobs, and I plan to meet him later. I head one way, he another. I continue on my way in the taxi while he gets in a different taxi. Let me explain here, we sometimes park our vehicle and take a taxi to save time and the hassle of parking problems. It’s better to do this than pay for parking by the half hour. And, if you don’t get back to your car on time you get a clamp on your wheel and then the process of that could take hours and a fine.
So here I am at noon today on my way in the taxi alone. It’s noon, the height of traffic. The taxi driver cuts in front of three lane traffic to get me to where I am going. He pulls up, I get my leg out and am just standing up when the car begins to move. I feel my foot and leg under the wheel. I have boots on which caught under the wheel. I don’t panic, but I did scream thinking he’d stop—he didn’t. I think to myself it’s best he kept going, or my leg may have stayed caught under the wheel. But, I didn’t expect him to just speed off. Hit and run! I don’t remember shutting the door. No one came to help me, probably because I just walked away and called Chuck as if nothing had happened. I saw a bench nearby and thought I needed to see if I was bleeding. Took off my boot. Just a small cut but hurting. Chuck arrived, we went to get the car and headed for the clinic.
The x-rays showed no broken bones. The car ran over my heel and was a hairline from crushing my ankle. The boot must have caught and pulled my leg under the wheel because I remember thinking thank you, Lord, it’s out from under the wheel. I’m off my feet for five days, pain pills, and ice. Also, watching it to see if anything else develops. It could have been so much worse. Were you praying today? I know I was covered in prayer. Thanks for prayers past and prayers future.
When the enemy hits us with something, we can resist him. We can call on the name of Jesus, and the enemy runs. He hits and runs! We have the victory! When he hits call on Jesus, and he’ll run!
In all our years of starting classes for the new semester, something ominous has happened just before. We are days away from beginning classes and look what obstacles are in our way. We are resisting, and we know he will flee. We have the victory. Classes will begin. The Word will go out, and souls will know Jesus because our God reigns.
Our lawyer is now handling everything. My ID card has to be corrected first, and then they will issue my license. Pray for a miracle that it will be solved quickly. It could take months. Probably they will have to issue me a new ID card—about $150, then the cost of the license all over again, and the lawyer’s fee. Who would have thought I’d have medical expenses to renew a driver’s license.
Praise God with us—last week we bought all the computers we need to start classes next week. He supplies! His perfect timing!
So now you know how we spent our day, how we spent our support, and how we spent our energy. All in the line of service. Whatever it takes. Have you sung that song lately? “Whatever it takes, that’s what I’ll be willing to do.” Whenever I hear that song, I wonder, Lord, am I willing? We count it a privilege to serve God. We are willing to be here and much more; we count it an honor to be missionaries and serve the King of Kings! We rest knowing when we pray, He answers!
How was your day? We have much to be thankful for today and every day! We count it all joy…