This was probably one of the most memorable Fourth of July’s I have had. Pastor Jared from Kenya arrived in Malawi today. He will be staying with us at the mission house for the next seven days. Every interaction we have with him continues to confirm that he was God’s pick. In fact, I was joking with Tony that we should call him “Tony Two.” He is a very kind-hearted gentleman, that demonstrates a deep love and respect for our Lord and Savior. He has never flown in an airplane before, and the ticket he got routed him six hours out of the way. The normally two and a half hour flight ended up consuming the entire day. We were thrilled to see him. The storm of activity that brewed when we met him in Kenya would now show its threatening face in Malawi.
Being thoroughly disappointed with the truck situation and Tony’s summons, we did not need additional fuel to be thrown on the fire, but that was exactly what we got when the attorney informed us that we owed him nearly $5000. Keep in mind, this is the same attorney that gave us a letter encouraging us to keep the vehicle, even though there was a great suspicion that it was stolen. Besides that, we were able to later determine it was stolen from South Africa by our own investigation. Knowing that God has me go to these situations to investigate what it is He wants us to do, I felt it necessary to continue in that same vein for these ridiculous charges. I asked Tony to get the hourly rate of the attorney. As it turns out, it equated to 200 hours of supposed time he spent on the case. From listening to Tony on the phone calls with the attorney, it seemed to indicate the intentions of the attorney to take advantage of the situation. At this point, I suggested that we go visit him. I am still trying to determine how much of it was God, or me.
We entered into the attorney’s office and shut the door. Tony, myself, and the attorney were the only ones present. I started to question him about the number of hours he was charging us. He quickly became defensive. Now it became quite clear; he had not been challenged before to the degree that I was challenging him. He was quite smug and I could tell there was a high degree of pride and arrogance within him. I told him that in America, his actions encouraging us to keep a stolen vehicle could lead to a lawsuit. I proceeded to offer him one quarter of what he said that we owed him. During that offer, however, I slid my chair right up to his desk and got face to face as close as I could. I most definitely was going into commando mode. Sensing that he was not interested in my offer, I stood up and said “take it or leave it.” I reached out my hand to shake his as I departed and he was not having any part of that. Little did I know that this would lead him and four thugs tracking us down at a restaurant later that evening.
Now that pastor Jared was here, we thought it would be nice to take him out to eat. We had met him a week and a half earlier in Kenya. The volatile situation that was taking place during our encounter was about to be repeated. Great division and a potential church split was underway when we met him. That was when God introduced him as the lead person for Kenya. As we were sitting down placing our order for the meal, Tony got a phone call. The attorney was on the other line, and asking where we were. Apparently he had already been to the house. The reason I say that is the restaurant was only a couple minutes away. A few minutes after the phone call, he was at the restaurant.
Here is the short version. He was accompanied by four guys with evil intentions. I told them that I am working for Jesus Christ and that he,the attorney, was a coward. The situation was very tense. I could visibly tell that Tony was fearful. Kelvin knew a couple of the guys and that they were paid thugs sent around to do people’s dirty work. Kelvin is one of the wonderful servants of God working at the mission house with the team. As Tony looked back and forth at the attorney and the four guys, he apologized to the attorney. I chose not to apologize, and later I pondered how much of that response was my own pride and arrogance. The five of them left and we returned to our meal. For some reason, my appetite had disappeared. There was one thing the attorney said to me that resonated in my spirit. “Did you talk to me in the right tone at the office?”
Later on, we discussed this around dinner. I told the group, which consisted of Tony, Pastor Jared, Kelvin, Heidi and myself that in fact, the tone I used had not been right. Also, I missed an opportunity to demonstrate love and the possibility of talking about Jesus. We all came to an agreement that returning to the attorney’s office the following day was the right thing to do. I would ask forgiveness for my tone of voice and share my desire for the attorney to know Jesus. Romans 8;28 NKJV, We know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to his purpose. I have faith that July 5 will be a day that brings honor and glory to God. We will talk to the attorney and go to court. Unbelievable results will occur and it will all be for His glory.