Oh the realities of traveling in the developing world! Heading to Dar es Salam, Tanzania yesterday we ran into the president of the country's motorcade. Like the driver was supposed to do, as soon as the lead motorcycle approached us on the two lane highway, he pulled off on to the left sholder. (The drive on the left side of the road here). A few moments later a wish of 10 or so SUV's blur past and on their way. After the route was cleared, we pulled back on the road.
A mere 200 yards or so down the road a police man pulled us over. Ordering our driver to get out of the vehicle, they went behind the vehicle and it was clear the officer was very upset! He was accusing us of blocking the president's motorcade and passing stopped vehicles during a presidential motorcade. After 45 minutes or so of heated discussions and the realization that our team was not going to bribe him, he insisted on raising the stakes and made us go to the police station in the next town. There he took our national staff in through the side door for further "discussions" and attempt to force the driver to sign a mia-culpa document! Well these were totally false accusations as the 5 of us in the vehicle testify to and can prove it. But he was facing either a severe beating or years in prison for this "hiddious crime"! After two hours of delay, it was agreed that the driver would return on Monday to appear in court so that the "visitors" could make their international flights.
He was released on condition of appearing in court - and of course, having his drivers license and vehicle doucments confiscated until the judge ruled on this case. We were about 1,000 kilometers from Arusha - so this demand was going to be costly, especially as he would need to bring our lawyer in order to get some form of justice.
We drove just a couple kilometers further under a cloud of doom until we reached the project we were supposed to visit for lunch - now hours late. We were discusing this incident with the staff we were told that this police officer was recently transfered there and already had a reputation of being a "trouble maker".
Come to find out, the project director is the head of security for the province. The chief of police is also an active member of the congregation! One phone call to the chief and another to the national level "fixed" the problem. The chief himself came to the church to get things straightend out. The driver would stop by the his house to pick up the confiscated vehicle documents on his way home! All charges were dropped! PTL!
The corrupt cop will most likely not be around that town much longer. In his zeal to make a buck or to "do one for the president", did not realize what he was doing. This was a very visible way that God demonstrated His grace. Trumped charges an all we were able to walk away praising God... and making our flight home!
This is normal life - their daily bread - in many countries. Prayer every time you get in the car is more than "keep us safe", but it is also "deliver us from evil"! Evil has been defeated! And we know in WHOM we can trust!