I glanced at the clock on the dashboard and pressed the gas in our Nissan Frontier just a little harder. I was returning from a trip to the grocery store just before lunch time. Robbie and Claire were waiting, surely hungry by now.

To my dismay, I saw a long line of cars up ahead proceeding at a snail's pace up the steep hill to the cemetery on the side of the mountain. I was going to be seriously late.

On second thought...I had frequently been with Robbie when he whipped through some back roads in the colonias at the bottom of the hill. If I could do what he did and get ahead of the procession, I'd be home in no time! I hung a sharp left and bumped down the road, weaving my way home.

Roads in Honduras don't have names, so I had to rely on my view of the mountain to keep my bearings. At the same time, I was trying to pay close attention to the road itself, which was soggy from heavy rains. After a few minutes, I realized I had gone too far to the north and would have to correct my direction by cutting through a rough neighborhood. Not good.

I breathed a sigh of relief as I headed down the last street of the colonia and saw the steep road up the mountain up ahead. There was no sign of the procession; I had done it!

Just about that time, I felt my wheels slip. The rainy season had nearly destroyed this road, and the mud was affecting my steering. I corrected and recorrected, praying I wouldn't bump into any of the walls or fences lining the road.

I neared the final turn and saw that the road ended in a small U. Both ends connected to the next road. Why were there two? The one on the left was very muddy; the one on the right was grassy. Afraid to brake in the mud, I had to make a quick decision. Wanting out of the mire as quickly as possible, I opted for the grassy path. Bad move.

The entire front of the truck dropped into a huge ditch lying beneath the grass. My head hit the roof, and I knew...I was stuck.

I got out to inspect the damage. The grill guard was caught on the ridge of the drop off, and the entire front right tire was suspended in air. There was no way I could drive out of this one. I was going to have to call Robbie.

Back in the truck, I locked the door and grabbed the cell phone: "Robbie, can you come get me? I'm stuck at the bottom of the hill..." He was on his way before I could finish the sentence. He knew exactly what kind of neighborhood this was.

I double-checked the locks, got the cell phone out of sight, and began to pray. It wasn't too long before I was spotted.

El Chele staggered down the road and squinted at the truck leaning precariously into the ditch. “Just great,” I muttered. El Chele was a resistolero, a drug addict who got his highs from sniffing glue (a common addiction in many third-world countries). We’d been hassled by this guy before, and he was persistent. But Robbie had always been with me; this was much scarier. I sank a little lower in the seat, hoping the tint on the windows was dark enough.

It wasn’t. El Chele peered in and rapped on the glass.

“I’m fine! My husband’s coming down the road! He should be here any minute.” I tried to look confident, but my heart was beating out of my chest. El Chele continued to knock on my window. He wasn’t going anywhere.

“Lord, I need your help here!”

Just then, help came flying down the hill in a gold pick-up. Robbie and Nathan (our partner) had arrived! By now, a small crowd had gathered around the truck. Most of them didn’t look any better than El Chele, but that didn’t matter now. My knight in shining armor was here!

My scary experience brought to mind a Bible verse I'd often read:

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. -Psalm 46:1

I've taken quite a few "wrong turns" on my Christian walk. But when I cry out to my Heavenly Father, He's faithful to rescue me from the mess I've made. Today, I'm praising Him for being my Knight in Shining Armor. Is He yours?
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