I spent the whole day working on a way to get the dollars from the States to Peru. I was unsuccessful. Again.
Add to that the fact that there appears to be some crooked dealings going on with the sellers, and I had a somewhat stressful time of it.
These fellows are wanting to report false amounts on the paperwork to avoid paying taxes. Of course, I can’t go along with that. They have offered how many different ways to falsify the numbers, but I keep insisting I must tell the truth.
So it looks like they have a way for me to have all of my documents in order with all the correct information, but they are going to find a way to go under the table with someone else. In the meantime, my insistence on integrity seems to have soured them to me.
I was charged for various repairs and services in preparation for the transfer. I was pretty sure I wasn’t required to pay them, but I did. I checked with Rafael and Fernando, Sr, and they were both outraged.
When confronted, the one below said, “If the gringo is dumb enough to pay it, we’re smart enough to take it.” That’s not a pleasant feeling.
Both Rafael and Fernando, Sr. suspect that when we go to sign papers, the fellows will deceive me somehow so that they maintain ownership. It’s hard to know what’s what in these cases.
Rafael asked, “David! Why are you not fighting? Why are you so suavecito with these bad men? You need to threaten them with the police.”
So I started to answer him by saying, “Well, Jesus taught us…”
But he interrupted me with, “No, don’t tell me what Jesus said. I’ll fight for you. I know you can’t fight because you have better principles.”
But I told him that Jesus wants his heart, too. My values don’t just come from who I am; they come from who Jesus is and what He calls me to be.
All things considered, Fernando, Sr. is going with me to tomorrow to do the transfer. I think I have everything lined up on the Peru side. If I can get the States side situated in the morning, we’ll be good.
Fernando, Sr. says when he gets to Cusco, he’s going to have a fight with his son for taking advantage of me. So I had to explain why that can’t happen; everything needs to be done in love and respect. “You sound just like Levi,” he said disgustedly. I’ve had worse accusations thrown at me.
Then he warned me to keep the truck locked away in a garage (that I don’t have) because the neighbors will steal it or vandalize it. He said I should never step outside at night without a weapon of some sort to protect myself. I told him I don’t need a weapon because God takes care of me. “Levi said the same thing!” he said with frustration.
Esmeralda quietly asked if God didn’t always take care of Levi. Fernando grudgingly admitted it was true. “Dios es su gran Protector. Él puede cuidar a David mejor que un palo,” she said. “God is his great Protector. He can take care of David better than a club.”
So buying a truck becomes this grand process where every step of the way my integrity is tested, it seems. And everything takes twice as long because I need to take the time to explain to my friends and my acquaintances what God expects of me.
There are moments where I wonder if I’ll even end up with this truck for sure. If the sellers become disgusted enough with me, they may look for another client. But I hope that all of this hoopla turns out to plant a seed of truth or to show love and integrity to someone who may not otherwise see it.
Is this what Romans 8:28 means when it says all things work together for good to those who are called according to God’s purposes? Maybe it’s not my good, but the good of someone I bump into in this process.
I don’t know, but you can pray God uses it for His plans. And pray that I can be faithful. I don’t want to do something that will put a spot on the banner of Jesus.
And you can pray that it’s all settled by tomorrow evening, Lord willing. Thanks for praying.
P.S. Agnes finally had her kids. I have had her for 150 days, so I wonder if she wasn’t bred the day I bought her. Anyhoo, it’s happy that we have more kids and more milk.