What’s living in a foreign country without something going wrong?
We went to a nearby touristy town called Tamel to drop off our laundry so that we didn’t have to hand wash it all. They told us it would be ready the following day after 5:30, so we left. They only required a few people to come back to pick it up.
First mistake: I did not go to pick it up.
Second mistake: I lost the receipt to get the laundry back but I figured they would remember since it was only yesterday and they could just tell them my name.
The people came home with a lot of laundry in hand, but stressed faces because they could not get mine or one of my other teammate’s back without a receipt. So we hopped into a taxi to go and fight for our laundry. I was not happy to be wasting money and time to do something that could have been very easily avoided if I had simply kept my receipt. It is unlike me to be disorganized, and I was very angry with myself.
If you have never believed that God has a sense of humor, think again. I can just picture him up there laughing as I grumpily search my bag again and again for the receipt, and low and behold I find it in the safest pocket of the bag. If I had just looked harder earlier I would not have been in this situation!! But I know God was laughing and smiling saying, “I need you here in this moment.”
On the way back home, empty handed, one of my teammates struck a conversation with the taxi driver. We listened as he told us all about his family and how he had been married for around 25 years. He also told us that he was very unhappy with his job. Because we needed a taxi at the exact time he turned to corner where we stood, we had the opportunity to brighten his night and show him Christ’s love. After he dropped us off, it was beautiful to watch my teammate give him a huge tip after we had spent time at the beginning bartering the price as low as we could.
That trip taught me a few important things. One, material things do not matter. I functioned completely fine without laundry (which I eventually got back after three days). Two, ministry does not happen only in a set time and place, but should be a part of my everyday life. Three, the people who serve you (like taxi drivers) are real people and deserve to be seen and heard, and often have some beautiful stories to tell.
Who would have thought I would be thanking God for letting me lose my laundry for a couple of days. I sure didn’t, but here I am.