*My daughter's insight after our Land Rover was stolen in Albania.
Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. -Philippians 4:6-7
"Well...I don't know what to do. How will we get to church? Who should I call?"
Groggily, I muttered, "Mom, what's going on? What is dad talking about?"
She softly whispered to me, "Our car is gone."
I sat up quickly. Not being a morning person, my brain usually takes at least a couple hours to start thinking logical thoughts, but with this sudden news I was wide awake and alert. When? How? I thought we just bought a new steering lock? Have we called the police yet?
Then I heard it in the back of my mind. "Be anxious for nothing." Not even this? Surely getting our car stolen I can be anxious, Lord! "but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests me made known unto God." Pray. Ok, God. I'll pray. Not too sure about the thanksgiving part though...
As I brushed my teeth, I started asking God... Why our car? Why not the Mercedes parked right in front of us? Or the truck across the street? Then he answered...You are my children. Maybe I am testing you. Maybe I want you to learn to trust in me. Whatever the reason, I am God.
Then, "Lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal" That's when I understood the thanksgiving part of the verse. Thank you, Lord for letting me earn treasures that will never be taken away. Priceless, Eternal treasures.
Dad and I went down the street to the guard of the Czech Embassy housing and he called the police. While we were waiting for them, he entertained us talking about mafia and his family in New York who are good honest workers and would never steal cars...even though there is a lot mafia in New York as well...
The police came and asked us a couple questions such as "Are you SURE you parked it here? Maybe you misplaced it." and "What is this number on this document?" "Ummm...That would be the license plate number." After that, I got my first police escort in their van and found out it's not quite as cool as it looks. Literally. No air conditioning and windows that don't open. "With thanksgiving." Thank you, Lord, for not having us walk to the station in the hot sun.
Once we reached the Police Station we were directed to the "Boss" and taken to his office with walls covered in Scarface Posters and a calendar that was turned to October. He asked us many questions such as "Who hates you?"... "What are you doing here?" and "Do you know where your car keys are?"
My dad signed the police report that included a line about our lacking fluency in Albanian, and then, much to my surprise, I was told to sign as well...which came as a bit of a shock since I'm a minor and did little more than accompany my father and translate some of the Boss's mumbled questions. After scribbling my signature- since I've been told they only accept it as a signature when it's illegible-we shook hands with the Boss who might have even given me a bit of a smile. I silently thanked God for helping me hold my tongue about his complaining of our Albanian skills, and for asking if we were quite SURE we didn't loan the keys to a friend.
Although I'm still sorry we are LandRoverless and doubt it will be found, I'm glad I got to experience the peace of God today...which indeed surpasses all understanding.
BY Bethany Brewer
Sunday, April 10, 2011
I cried today for a cat. Michello. We went to Luljeta's house today to deliver 50 lbs of flour for bread for the month and 25 lbs. of corn feed for the chickens. We do this often for those who live out in the village so they do not have to pay $5 for a delivery van that brings it only 1/2 way up the mountain. They then have to get it home in a wheelbarrow up and down the rugged mountain 'road'. Not an easy task.
We delivered the flour and corn and walked around the yard talking to the kids. Since we had been in America for furlough many things were new. Aulona showed me the trees she planted with her dad and we admired the extended fence that her mom finished. We even check to see if the chickens had laid any eggs - there were 5! As I looked around I did not see Aulona's furry best friend, Michello. In the past, there was always a 'story' about Michello and his cunning tricks. When I asked, I noticed Aulona got very quiet and let her hair cover her face. She spoke quietly and said that Michello has been gone 2 months and she thinks he is dead. Then, she rushed off to the outhouse to regain her composure. I followed, crying. I found her and wrapped my arms around her and we cried together. I don't even like cats, but I love Aulona. I meet her when she was a little girl of 7, now she is a teenager of 14. 'Precious' is the best word to describe her. On our prayer requests cards that all the ladies and girls fill out this is what she wrote - when she was 12!
" I want to ask God to make me a girl after His Own heart. I pray that I am an even better student as God wants me to be. I pray for all the believers, that they fulfill the desires of God and walk in the right road always."
As I watched her in church this morning singing with all her heart, I thought, this is why I am here. I am here for Alona, for Lujeta, for Lule and Julie, and Ilda ... I am here to love them, encourage them, teach them and to cry with them. God gave them to me and I love them so!