Tuesday, February 01, 2011

The rest of the story

I mentioned that I would relate more of our Oaxacan experience yesterday. This is the rest of the story.

On the way back, about 50 minutes from Oaxaca, we were stopped on the highway by a group of people with red flags (with the hammer and sickle symbol, like the old USSR). They were stopping everyone, for who knows what reason, probably a local dispute with the government. We were fourth in line, but probably were stopped there for the better part of 10 minutes, and probably 40 or so cars came in behind us. When we finally were allowed to go through, we realized that the group was demanding money to be allowed to go by. I wasn't going to give them any, and didn't... They actually hit the car three times with wooden sticks, and sort of closed in on us, demanding that we pay...and by that time, they realized I wasn't going to stop, and they let me through.

Sort of weird, sort of scary. We got through the crowd and found two policemen, who were watching the action from probably 100 yards away. They agreed with my rather emotional complaint, but didn't do much more, much to our disappointment! There honestly wasn't much two men could do. So...I guess we can be glad that they didn't break anything on the car or didn't get more aggressive! I honestly don't think we were in serious danger, but it was odd that the police didn't do anything. It's one thing to block a road, it's another to demand payment to be allowed to pass, on a toll road that we were supposed to feel pretty secure on!

As always, we count on your prayers, and know that even in the most challenging and adverse circumstances, God is right there.

I was reminded of the reason why we are here. In a world that seems to be sliding quickly towards lawlessness, injustice and insecurity, the only message that can and ultimately will turn this world around is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Otherwise, we are without hope and without God in the world. A lot of people live with that fearsome and fearful reality. They need to be told that there is radiant, supernatural hope.

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