Autumn 1990 – Vol.6 – No.3
As in many developing countries, when it comes to getting things done it isn’t so much what you know as who you know. “Contacts” are very important here. In that regard, we are thankful to be in “contact” with the One seated high above all human authorities.
Time and again God has propelled us past looming obstacles by granting us the right friends here below. It was several such contacts that enabled us to get our second container through customs in record time without paying the charges they initially planned to extract.
In a quite extraordinary way, God recently granted us even more useful allies. Though we have little to complain about, other expatriates have noted a disturbing problem with mail theft. Magazines and packages are especially targeted. People have tried various ways of dealing with the matter, but without success.
Julie and I began praying that God would show us something we could do to insure our mail was not diverted, especially the more tempting parcels. On one of my frequent visits to the post office, I asked why the building was so dark thinking I could buy them some light bulbs and begin cultivating friendships with the workers.
You may not believe that a post office could be too poor to buy light bulbs, but that is typical for life here in the poorest nation of the world. I was amazed to learn that in fact, the entire lower floor of the central post office for the entire state, where the mail is handled and where the Chief of Distribution has his office, had been without power since February! The workers moaned that by 3:30 in the afternoon nearly everyone was operating in darkness.
Upon talking to the Director, I found out they had already spent relatively large sums of money trying to repair the problem without success, and had just about given up all hope of ever having electricity again. Julie and I began specifically praying that, if it pleased God, we would be able to gain the cooperation of the people who handle our mail by providing the solution to their difficulties, though this seemed like a rather far fetched request.
The very day we began praying, a fellow I didn’t even recognize approached me in the hospital. He had done some electrical work at our apartment and remembered me though I had forgotten him. He was a Christian and wanted to know if I could get him a Bible. I asked him if he would be willing to help me solve the problem at the post office.
Twenty minutes later I was talking to the Director who was incredulous when I asked permission to bring the electrician and my electrical equipment to see if we could find and fix the problem, free of charge. It was a pretty outlandish offer to make after the “experts” had failed, but the way things were unfolding, I sensed the Lord’s hand at work. He was nonplused, but since we could hardly make things worse than they were already, he gave us his permission.
We met for prayer, asking God to lead us to the problem and the solution, and just a few hours and $27.00 later the lights and fans came on for the first time in five months. The people at the post office were ecstatic. I didn’t hesitate to tell the Director it was God’s answer to our prayers. Now we have a lot of new friends who already have begun personally handing me our letters.