Ever gone on a trip where so many things just go wrong? A couple of years ago, things seemed a little bleak upon arrival in Cameroon. There were three of us on a preliminary trip intended to set things up for a group to begin working on the Cameroon Girls Home. But so many issues seemed to be working against me. First, in later years, I have noticed when traveling that my legs swell. I still enjoy being in other countries and cultures, but I am less and less excited about the getting there…. When I arrived, my legs from the knees down were swollen up like balloons. (Ever tried walking on a balloon?). Strike one.
I didn’t make this confession to my two travel mates at the time, but about half way there, I discovered that I had forgotten my iPad. That was particularly bad, because I intentionally left my computer at home, because I knew I was taking the iPad. Strike two.
For the mission work we were undertaking a certain amount of funding was required in country and in order to do it, we had to carry cash. Wouldn’t you know it, for the first time in my life, never having had this happen in the dozens of trips I’ve taken in and out of Cameroon, this time…I was pulled over by customs who searched my briefcase and found a lot of money. They hurried me into a back room and began interrogating me and telling me that they were going to charge me a customs amount in view of what I was carrying. Clearly, they were “shaking me down.” They were intentionally trying to intimidate me, having left my traveling companions out in the baggage reception area, wondering what had happened to me. In the end, I gave them about one tenth the amount they wanted. (All of which I was able to recover later…but still….) Strike three.
This week we’ll discover how people with three strikes against them, are often them most vocal in their recognition of God’s providence and abundance.