AN UNUSUAL ADVENTURE
There were six of us, two men who had been to this country several times, and four women. I had been to the area many times, and one of the women lived in another part of Asia, but had never been to this part of the country. A third woman had travelled with me several times before, and the fourth woman had never been to Asia before. We had travelled by plane to this very remote area to deliver the part of God's Word that had recently been translated into the local language. This would be their very first time to have any portion of the Bible in their own language. Can you even imagine never having access to any part of the Bible?!
We had been told where to get rooms in a small neighborhood very inexpensive "hotel" and to quickly unpack and go to a little local cafe down the same street which had a sign of a certain color. Pretty vague instructions, but they were enough. We were to take the books with us in our backpacks and to sit down and eat. We would eventually be approached by some contacts, who were unknown to us, and we were to follow their instructions. That was all of the information that we had - we had no names and no description. We didn't even know if if they were men or women, nor how many there would be. So we set out on this unusual but very important assignment, feeling on high alert!
As we entered the little cafe, which only had 4 small tables, we noticed that there were 3 men eating at one table, but we deliberately paid no attention to them. They didn't even look up, so we would not have had any idea if they were our contacts, except that they were the only other customers at that time, so we thought it was likely.. We ordered our lunches, and just made small touristy type talk among ourselves. Just before we were finished eating one of the men came and sat down next to me. He was a native English speaker and just made small talk about the weather and the food, etc. There were no names exchanged or introductions of any kind. When he observed that we were almost finished eating, he said, "When you finish eating and pay the bill, just cross the street and we will be waiting for you." And then he left.
There were no other customers in the cafe, so I had assumed that these men were our contacts. We were not really apprehensive because everything was going as we had been told to expect. So shortly after they left, we paid our bill and crossed the street to where the three men were standing and talking to each other. There was still no conversation between the nine of us, so anyone who might have been observing would not note anything unusual. Soon the man who had talked to me waved down a taxi and had Emily and I get in with him. The other two men did the same thing and each took two of our team with them to other locations.
As our taxi driver was going, our contact would occasionally point out a store or some other insignificant thing that we were passing. About 30 minutes later, the taxi stopped in front of a large apartment building and we followed our contact out of the taxi and up some steps and into the building and to the door of his apartment. How did we feel during that taxi ride and as we walked up the steps of the apartment building? Maybe a tiny bit apprehensive - like what on earth are we doing?! But, at the same time calm and at peace because we were following instructions given by someone we trusted, but, even more so, we knew we were in God's Hands. His wife opened the door and we were welcomed in and served tea and brownies after all of the introductions were made.
Wow! Then we knew for sure that we were in the right place, with the right person, and at the right time! He had a fairly high profile job, was from a Western country and knew "the ropes". As we were talking, we learned that he and his wife had gone to a Bible School that I was very familiar with. And then a few minutes later I saw one of my husband's books on their desk! We were all very surprised by how small our world is and how God had made our paths to cross!!
After about 1/2 hour of fellowship together, he put us in a taxi and gave the driver directions and soon we were back with the other four of our team! We discreetly shared our experiences and feelings together. The most important thing was that the part of the B that had been recently translated into their local language would end up in the hands of the minority people who were waiting for them. That was the whole purpose for that part of our trip! The books would not pass directly from the contacts that we had made that day, but would pass through others hands first - for safety reasons.
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