As I had mentioned awhile back, we’ve been looking for a vehicle. Rafael had been checking into some ads for me from time to time, but most of them were listed as much lower than the actual price. The most disappointing was the 2019 Toyota pickup listed for $1 that turned out to be over $30,000.
About two weeks ago, we had Fernando’s family over for supper. I mentioned to him that I was looking for a vehicle, and he decided he’d make it happen. In the intervening days, he has found a number of good options that we’d considered.
But then he mentioned to his oldest son, Fernando junior, that I was looking for a truck. Fernando junior has a wealthy friend who owns a number of vehicles. The fellow had one that his son had used to go back and forth to University that he wanted to get rid of, so he told Fernando he’d be willing to sell it to me.
Fernando, Jr. brought it to our place the other evening at Dane’s birthday. Rafael and I took it for a test drive. It’s in immaculate condition. It ticked all the boxes of criteria we had. We decided to go ahead and buy it.
Fernando, Jr. is a mechanic by trade. He spent the day yesterday, changing the various filters and fluids, as well as the brakes and such. When he was finished, he asked if I could take him to his house in Limatambo, about an hour away.
We were supposed to leave early in the evening, but this is Peru. Fernando, Jr. wanted Rafael to come along with us, but Rafael was spending the evening with friends and said he couldn’t come. Time passed until it was after 9:00 at night.
Fernando, Jr. said he was on his way now, and could I please be ready to go so he didn’t have to wait on me. That message actually made me laugh out loud.
He drove up at almost 9:30. I ran out to the truck, and just as I reached for the passenger door, Rafael popped his head out and yelled, “Sorpresa!” Turns out Fernando, Jr. had talked with Rafael and arranged for him to come later. They thought it would be funny to make me think Rafael couldn’t go along and then surprise me.
I was rather thankful to have Rafael along. Fernando, Jr. drives like a mad man. If you’ve ever experienced the hairpin curves of the Rockies in the States, imagine a worse road experience driven at two to three times the speed you’d be comfortable with. Fernando, Jr. talked the whole way; Rafael was able to carry on a conversation with him, but I stayed silent, hanging on for dear life to the handles in the back seat.
Rafael said on the way home that he thinks Fernando junior tends to be “poco loco” when it comes to driving. I didn’t think the determiner was necessary.
So Rafael and I had an hour home together. Rafael said he loves to drive and was thrilled he could drive the truck back. He asked me to promise to take good care of it and sell it to him in a few years.
On the way back, Rafael talked a lot about his life. He wants to love God, but he says he’s living in disobedience. His church won’t let him take part in their services because of his choices.
I told him what the Bible says about various things. He wants to be at peace, but he isn’t willing to pay the price. I asked him what would happen in the next life if his life here ended while he was living like he is. He very quietly said he didn’t know.
We talked about it. I told him how Jesus has a way for us to be free from sin and fear and loneliness and all the things he brought up in our conversation. I told him I’m praying for him, and I love him. He seemed overwhelmed, so we let the conversation drop.
We need to pray that Holy Spirit works mightily in Rafael’s life. God wants to win him to the kingdom. I want him to find peace and freedom and the love of Jesus. But it’s ultimately between him and the Lord.
I got home a minute before midnight. I was tired, but I knew God had sorted out the details of the day for His purposes. And I felt personally blessed to park an answer to our prayers in the side yard.