Each day here in Nicaragua, Angie asks us, “Where did you see God today?” Some days I can only recount small things. Other days they are huge. Today….hmmm….I’m not sure how this one ranks. But, I think it may be the most poignant.
We are blessed to have a driver and a van to get us to all the places we go. The driving down here is….interesting. Horns are used to say “I see you” or “I’m coming by you” or “Excuse me, please.” Cars, trucks, buses, vans, horses and cows all share the road with pedestrians, so it’s important that everyone just work together. When passing by other vehicles (or people!), we come so close that we sometimes miss them by only centimeters. In fact, we passed a horse and buggy so closely that Gwen got horse whipped through the window! I am happy to report that she is fine….and has behaved very well since then! Okay, all jokes aside, I say all this to say that it is truly a blessing to have a driver. Antonio has worked with Angie on more than one occasion and is a professional driver in this area and is quite good at what he does.
Despite our language barrier (Antonio speaks almost no English), it’s easy to see that this is a sweet, gentle man of God. Angie says he has never asked for anything. Which is unusual down here. The Nic people think all Americans are rich and are used to the ministries who only come to give hand-outs, so many have been programmed to ask. And, I think this may be what makes this truly special.
As you may know, this is my (and Gwen’s) second trip to Nicaragua with Angie. Last year, as we were preparing to come down, someone gave Gwen a Spanish Bible. This year, on a whim, she decided to bring it. This morning, we were sorting through our supplies….you know, important stuff like bubbles and jewelry!…and ran across the Bible. It was the only one we had, so it was laid aside for….whoever. As I was untangling necklaces, I happened to notice Antonio picking up the Bible. His large hands caressed the cover and reverently opened it up. He then turned it over in his hands a couple of times before asking Angie who it was for. When she said no one in particular, this humble man asked if he could have it. “You don’t have a Bible??” Angie asked, dumbfounded. (Okay, she asked in Spanish, but you get my point!). His answer was that he only had a New Testament she had given him the very first time she met him. Of course, the Bible is now his! He laid it in the van. Later, when he realized it was covered with dust, he wiped it off, then wrapped it up to keep it safe.
What a humbling moment for me, who has more Bibles than I can count and toss them around like dime store novels. What if we all took God’s Word as seriously as this young man? What a quiet testament to this man’s love for our Lord. Tonight, as I sit here many miles away from home, here only to do God’s work, I am sad to say that I don’t treat God’s Word that carefully. Do you?
Be blessed and tell someone you love them!