Wednesday, February 15, 2012

smoak signals...

Richard and Pam Smoak are missionaries to Tanzania. Their son, Gordon, goes to college about an hour away from where we live and is an all-around great kid.  We have known the Smoaks for a long time and they are doing a wonderful work in Africa.

From time to time, Pam sends out emails to several people. She doesn't have a blog and these emails have a way of reaching into your mind and painting pictures.  She gave me permission to copy some of them here from time to time.  I'm sure you will enjoy them just as much as I do.

The traffic leaving downtown Nairobi was at a standstill.  Noisy, fuming busses and trucks idled on either side of us; their rumbling diesel motors vibrated our Cruiser.  We were running late leaving town.  A morning appointment had been delayed.  Last minute purchases and traffic, always traffic in Nairobi, ate up time.
At last, just past Nyayo Stadium, the traffic thinned; we were moving.  Not for long.  A stalled 18 wheeler blocked half the road.  The other lane and both shoulders were crammed with taxis, mini-bus transports, cars and delivery vans trying to go around the big truck.  We were at a standstill, again.
Since leaving the Sarit Centre mall, I had felt an uneasiness.  I was more nervous than usual, which is normally a lot, in Nairobi traffic and just felt a warning in my spirit.  Inching by the lorry, Richard and I both began talking at the same time.  We both expressed a doubt about continuing on our trip home to Moshi so late in the day.  Unanimously, we voted to turn around even before we got to the airport on the edge of town.  We returned to our hotel and left early the next morning.
After crossing the Kenya/Tanzania border the next morning, we started seeing signs of recent flooding. At one point the road was washed away and we had to divert upriver to cross.  Just before the city of Arusha, the road was clogged with lorries, tour vehicles, private cars and motorcycles.  In the torrential rain of the afternoon before, another river had flooded over a bridge sweeping away pedestrians, bicyclists and animals and depositing 2-3 feet of mud.  Vehicles had been stranded there all night and through the second day.  If we had continued the day before, leaving Nairobi late, we would have been stranded or worse, swept away downstream. 
Looking back on that trip, I must ask myself, “Did an angel stall that truck in Nairobi?”  Richard and I both had been ignoring the nudging of the Spirit not to travel.  It was the stalled lorry and that last delay that made us postpone our journey to Moshi.  We would have been traveling through those raging rivers during the hardest part of the rain.
Did an angel tinker with that truck's engine?  Was it angelic intervention and protection?  Maybe.

© 2009-2012 by Melani Brady Shock

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