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Travel, Traffic, and God’s Timing

When Encompass Global Workers Ted and Vivien loaded their suitcases into the trunk of a taxi cab in Manila, they were planning an ordinary drive to the airport.

Ted and Vivian were headed to Ilocos Norte, in the northern half of the Philippines to spend a few days ministering alongside their Filipino friends Rey and Alma. Knowing that the fifteen-mile trip to the airport took about an hour through crowded Manila streets, Ted and Vivian had planned to leave in plenty of time.

Some trips do not go as planned.

It started with traffic. A recent BBC poll called Manila the worst place to drive in the world, and that day it was certainly true. As their cab crept along the streets at an average four miles per hour, Ted and Vivian resigned themselves to missing their flight. Vivian asked for a moment to get her bag from the trunk, hoping to take advantage of the delay and get some Bible study done.

Their taxi driver had other ideas. He was determined to get them to the airport on time, and he wouldn’t let anything stand in the way. What he hadn’t told Ted and Vivien was that before picking them up, he had drunk a few too many cups of coffee. He needed a bathroom urgently, but he didn’t want to slow them down. Instead, in the middle of stalled traffic, the driver hopped out of the cab, asked Ted to take over, and quickly darted out of sight. Ted slid into the driver’s seat with a mixture of shock and excitement. He had never driven a car on the crazy roads of Manila before. As long as they sat in deadlock, everything was okay, but then, traffic began to move.

Ted had no choice. He put the car in gear and moved forward, wondering where their driver had gone. A few blocks down the street, Ted looked in the rear view mirror and saw the driver sprinting after the cab. The driver finally caught up and switched spots with Ted, apologizing for his unexpected disappearance. With one problem solved, the driver resumed his goal of getting Ted and Vivien to their flight.

The airport was in sight and hopes were high when a suspicious noise came from under the cab. The car had a flat tire.  With lightning speed, the driver opened the door and dashed to the back of the car. Vehicles were whizzing past him at dangerous speeds as he removed a spare tire and some tools from the trunk. In an impressive seven minutes, the driver fixed the flat and returned drenched in sweat to continue driving.

Ted and Vivien were certain that they had missed their flight, but they thanked their driver for his extra effort anyway. They hurried to their gate, only to find that their plane had been delayed for four hours. It would mean more waiting, but they would make it to their destination.

The trip may not have gone as Ted and Vivien planned, but Got got them where they needed to go in His own timing, and He added a few adventures along the way.