As the heading suggests, it's been a big week. Thank the Lord it's Sunday. This week I crossed from Nicaragua into Honduras & just 3hrs ago crossed into El Salvador! I have a stress fracture in my left leg sustained during a 40km walk in Nicaragua with two massive blisters causing me to limp & hence add undue stress to my leg. I've had something in each country that has stopped me in some way from completing the crossing on foot in its entirity so this time I was determinded to just offer the pain up for unity & complete the remaining 150km - very slowly. By the time I made it to the border (5 days later) my leg was badly swollen so I rested through the whole of Honduras where the mission took on a new look of 'RideTheBus4one'. I still stopped in each town along the way & was afforded more time to spend travelling from church to church inviting people to pray for unity. I met some great people & enjoyed the rest. In the end I had no choice but to take the bus because at the border I also got food poisoning & spent the night sitting on the floor embracing the toilet. That was a few days ago & I still have a headache from it. So, lots of painful walking followed by lots of painful bus travel while drinking litres of fluid trying to re-hydrate! I was also swindled twice in two days. Firstly, after an evening meeting with a Padre my leg was seizing up so I took a tricyle taxi back to my hotel. The taxi-rider overcharged me 5 times the going rate ($30 instead of $6) but I didn't realise this until inside the hotel. I quickly hobbled back outside to find a heap of other tricyle taxi riders laughing at me. One called out, "Hey my friend, where do you want to go? For $30 I'll take you anywhere!" They all roared with laughter. All of a sudden I forgot about my leg & marched my way back through the town until 'my man' happened to ride up alongside me on a push-bike this time. I didn't recognise him at first but then he made the mistake of commenting about our trip to the hotel. I stopped and smiled at him, "Hello. Did you steal from me?" I placed my hand firmly on his shoulder and he very promptly reefed the $30 out of his pocket & gave it back to me. I took back $20, gave him $10 & said goodnight. He rode off very quickly. The other time was with the money exchangers at the border. The Money Exchanger under exchanged by a hefty 30%, which I discovered over lunch while talking to a local about the value of the currency. This time I grabbed a police officer & we both went back to the money exchangers & though we couldn't find him, an honest man stepped forward & said that it was his friend & that he'd give me the money owed & seek out his friend for the difference later. So, on I walked. In Honduras I was woken in the middle of the night with a dark shadowy figure standing over me running his hand up and down my body! That is a scarey thing to wake up to. I flinched as I woke & the figure retracted from my bed & stood a few metres away from me. I had no idea what to do so I just pretended to still be asleep. After a few minutes he finally left the room. Feeling more than just a little uneasy I got out of bed & wondered what on earth I could do. I prayed & asked for some help & as I stood near my door I heard him come out of his room again & come up to my door once more. I stood there looking at my door as he slowly opened it up. It was like something from a horror movie. As the door opened up I flicked the light on & vigorously 'scruffed' him by the shirt & pushed him back out away from my room. I was staying in a missionary hostel & across the way was a chapel so as he tried to run I fastened my grip on him, opened up the chapel door & flung him inside. I dragged him right up the front & threw him onto his knees. He pleaded, "No, no, Jesus is here!" I agreed & replied, "Correct & he's the only one who has permission to be in my room at any time. Goodnight." As I left the chapel (picking up the chairs I'd knocked down in dragging him in) I heard him begin to start praying. I hope he spent a while there. I found a way to secure my door shut & back to bed I went. As I wrote at the start, Thank the Lord it's Sunday. This has been a long entry but I can't go without sharing a very embarrassing moment in a rural town in northern Nicaragua. Residing at the country store I finished off my tub of yoghurt & tossed, basketball style, the tub into the bin nearby. My perfect shot was meet with looks of shock & dismay from the locals there that confused to me to say the least. I couldn't work out why they reacted as they did so I inspected the rubbish bin to discover I had unwittingly 'three-pointed' my yoghurt tub into the towns supply of dried corn kernels. I quickly apologised & retrieved the tub but as I stood up the cross around my neck hooked on the side of the bin and literally 'popped' the figure of Jesus off the cross! This was met with even more looks of shock & dismay form the locals. I retrived the figure of Jesus from the corn & discovered it actually had little nails in the back of it so I had the embarrassing task of then nailing the figure of Jesus back onto the cross... I then found the real rubbish bin for the yoghurt tub a bid a quick farewell. Always place your rubbsih in the bin. There were in fact other incredible moments over the past week but I don't have enough space to write about all of them. Basically though, God is taking care of me & though my path is riddled with opposition I'm still enjoying the journey. Please pray on & if you haven't already, please feel welcome to sign the online prayer list simply as a way of encouraging everyone else to pray. God bless, Sam.
"I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church." Col 1:24