Updated: Feb 28, 2020
We landed in Europe on February 14th, 2012. Two weeks later, we were on the road—Romania, Bulgaria, Macedonia, Hungary—4 Countries in 4 weeks.
5 days after our European tour, and 90% sure where we wanted to live, we were back in Hungary. Nestled in a small motel while trying to find a place to live. Our luxurious motel room came with. . . a mini fridge, a 2-burner stove, a rock-hard green plaid couch, 1-small plate size sink, and a bed that made Rob’s shoulders go to sleep. We came with. . . a bunch of luggage and an energetic 2-year old. Life was wacky, but we were on an adventure!
As par for the missionary life, our first week in Hungary, started with a bang. A Big bang!
After settling into our motel, we spent a beautiful Friday in our SUV traveling to and from a small city, visiting a pastor and his family. We had owned this snazzy vehicle for all most 7 weeks. We felt sporty, adventurous, and classy.
But. . . on the outskirts of Budapest, just 15 minutes from our hotel, the SUV started making the most horrible clunking sound.
BANG. . . BANG. . BANG. BANG. BOOM!!!
Power gone, front dash lights off, no power to the gas pedal. Nothing. . . Nothing. . . Nothing!
Thankfully, we had just enough speed to coast into a parking lot before coming to an abrupt stop.
But. . . our pretty, snazzy, sporty, classy black SUV, that made us feel classy and adventurous. . . was. . . . . . . . .. dead!
A new Country.
No language ability.
A dead vehicle.
Rob and I sat in silence, speechless with what to do next.
After an hour of running around the parking lot, Rob finally google translated his way to getting us a taxi. A few hours later, we were safely back at the motel.
I remember Rob saying, “Missionaries have stories. Think of all the fun stories we will have to share.”
I smiled and said, “Its ok. We are missionaries. We can handle this!” It was just a little mist or a small speed bump.
But. . . . the mist always seems to turn into rain.
In Hungary, on Easter weekend, EVERYTHING is closed Friday afternoon through Tuesday morning. And of course, THIS was Easter weekend!
-no tow truck available until Tuesday.
-no stores open until Tuesday. (Even a full mini fridge doesn’t last long.)
-no restaurants close enough to walk to on foot.
“It’s ok. We are missionaries. We can handle this! Stories. It’s all about the stories!”
We are from the Northwest we can totally handle a little rain.”
In the Northwest, full fledge storms are rare but they do happen. . .
A simple phone call brought in the storm. The next morning, my mom reminded me life is finite and unpredictable.
“Honey, my Hepatitis C is back (a blood disease that causes the deteriorating of the liver and is healed by cancer drugs). . . . Oh and . . . your brother is in a country that has closed its borders.”
“Um, God. . . I may be a missionary, I may want stories. . .but I can’t handle this. I don’t want this story. Stories and storms like this are for the ‘real’ missionaries!”
I laid in bed that night, feeling as though these problems were monstrous. They were outside my grasp and ability to fix. I wanted my mom healed, my brother safe, our car repaired and an open grocery store so my family could eat, but I couldn’t do any of it. I certainly couldn’t fix a car let alone secretly rescue my brother or heal cells.
My entire family was struggling, and I couldn’t even drive to the airport.
All. . . I could do. . .
Was breathe. . .breathe. . . and breathe. . .and breathe.
I sat remembering. . . days in the past—crying out to God, to use my life.
Promising to him I would be faithful.
Promising to him I would be brave.
Promising to him I would be steadfast.
Those were nice days! At a camp after a long day of rafting, standing on a beach, under the stars, worshiping with people I love. How days like those, get us into pickles like these!
Thankfully, God graciously gives us powerful and victorious stories to read when the battle we are in seems monstrous.
“A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. His height was six cubits and a span. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver’s rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him.
On hearing the Philistine’s words, Saul and all the Israelites were dismayed and terrified.
For forty days the Philistine came forward every morning and evening and took his stand.
The Philistine, with his shield bearer in front of him, came close to David.
He looked David over and saw that he was little more than a boy, glowing with health and handsome, and he despised him.
He said to David,
“Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds and the wild animals!”
David said to the Philistine
“You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the Lord Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hands, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. This very day I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds and the wild animals, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the Lord saves; for the battle is the Lord’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.’”
1 Sam 17:45-47
David is amazing. Strong, brave, determined, steadfast in God’s faithfulness and character.
I like to think I would be like David against Goliath.
But. . .
I think, after given some inspirational speech I would have stood there, waiting for God to strike Goliath down. Waiting for the bolt of lightning, or a crazy insta plague or something to. . .BAM! Goliath gone!
. . . After all, isn’t that how it happens?
We ask and God acts.
We have faith and God blesses.
We believe. . .believe a little more. . . and keep believing and then God acts. . . right?
We move, we give up our stuff, we give our money away, and God blesses and blesses and blesses.
Right. . .?
To be continued. . . in the next post!!!