How should we begin this blog update? By praising God for His provisions and by thanking you for praying. Yesterday, at 6 am, Stephen, Rebekah, and Abigail set off for the 2nd trip into the village.
The goal was to take up our three-month supply of frozen meat, make the beds, and a take care of a few other items. Just prior to departing for the village, we noticed that the vehicle still had empty space. So, we quickly packed three suitcases, with primarily clothes, and threw them into the vehicle. Three hours later, Stephen and the girls were just about to enter the village when the vehicle died. Thankfully, after much prayer and many attempts to start the vehicle, it started and they made it to our house. Stephen and our partner Manfred concluded that the problem was the fuel filter and Stephen made a mental note to have it changed upon his return to Puerto.
After this less-than-exciting-news, Stephen opened the house to find out that there was a brown-out. What should he do with all our frozen meat? Should Stephen pack it into our electric chest freezer . . . with no idea when the power might come back on? Or should he bring all the frozen supplies back to Puerto? He decided to pack the freezer and pray for power. At noon, the freezer was packed and there was still no power. Stephen and the girls went over to our partner’s house for a quick lunch.
Stephen wanted to leave the village as soon as possible, in case the vehicle stopped again on the way back to Puerto. Unfortunately, they didn’t even get a mile down the road before the vehicle died. This time, it wouldn’t start again. Thankfully, our partner was nearby. While Stephen and Manfred were taking off the fuel filter, Rebekah, Abigail, and David, our partner’s son, walked back to the village.
Leaving our vehicle behind, Manfred drove Stephen to a nearby provincial town to look for a fuel filter and diesel fuel. Remember, they were not in America where there are auto stores like Autozone and NAPA nearby. Thankfully, the little “auto store” had five fuel filters in stock. Not that we needed more than one, but Stephen was curious and asked. Now we needed diesel fuel and a container to transport it back to our truck. Well, in the province, a Coke bottle is the container of choice. So, Stephen bought a full bottle of Coke. However, he didn’t need the Coke. Stephen drank a little and then poured out the rest. He then filled the bottle with diesel fuel and headed back to the village. They replaced the filter, but the vehicle still died time after time. After several attempts and talking to a village mechanic, he realized he needed to replace the fuel pump, too. Off to town they went again. This time the “auto store” didn’t have our vehicle’s pump. But it had a “similar” pump. How many? Just this one. Praise the Lord for one! With a little modification, they put this pump into the vehicle at night by flashlight. This time the vehicle started and kept on running.
However, because of the late hour, the decision was made that Stephen and the girls would need to spend the night at home in the village. By this time, both Manfred and Stephen had diesel fuel on their clothes and were dirty. But do you remember that empty space in our vehicle? At the last moment before leaving Puerto, we had packed three suitcases . . . of clothes! And what had the girls done earlier in the day? They found our sheets in the barrels and made the beds. Stephen, Rebekah, and Abigail all slept in their own beds and had clean clothes for the morning. They were also able to buy toothbrushes at a little house-store in the village. God provided everything they needed for this adventure.
And in case you’re still wondering about our frozen items: Yes, the power came back on about 2 pm and stayed on until Stephen and the girls left this morning. Praise the Lord! Please pray that the power will remain consistent. There are so many things that could have happened differently, and we are reminded again of God’s gracious care over us and His provision, even before we knew of the need. Thank you for your continued prayer!