*Seven Years Later*
The jungle loomed on either side of the boat as it glided through the smooth black waters. Clutching the railing of the second deck, near the bow, was Jonathan. He had received the good news that someone from the trip had dropped out only three weeks earlier. What a rush. So much had to be done before he could arrive in that country—packing, getting shots for unheard of diseases like typhoid and yellow fever, applying for a visa, praying, and then waiting. The worst thing about it was that he didn’t know if he was going to be able to go or not because of the short notice. Mom called the Brazilian Embassy every day to see if they were going to have the visa in time for him to go, but every time they said that it would take 4-6 weeks to receive a visa.
It was Monday and the clock kept on ticking—his plane ticket was for Friday morning during the wee hours of the morning. Jonathan ran down to the mailbox right after the mail arrived day, but there was nothing. Maybe God didn’t have this trip in store for Jonathan. Tuesday came and went, but there was no visa. It would come tomorrow for sure. Again the box had nothing for Jonathan. A knot began to grow in the pit of his stomach. It all came down to Thursday; either the visa would come and he would go or there would be nothing and Brazil would have to wait. No matter what happened Jonathan was sure that the will of God would be made manifest.
The lid to the mailbox creaked open as Jonathan slowly opened the box with his eyes held tightly shut. With his heart hammering he opened them. Courage was failing because the there on top was a JC Penny magazine. Was it even worth sifting through the rest of the mail to see if his passport was stuffed in some obscure corner? With resolve he snatched the mail up in his arms and carried the bundle up to the house. He wanted to find out with the whole family. It is just a quirky character trait . Jonathan loves suspense and this is a way to create suspense. He couldn’t pretend it hadn’t come if he knew it had—so his solution was to pretend it hadn’t come by not actually knowing the truth.
With the bundle of mail placed at the center of the table and an audience it was time to discover the truth. After tossing a couple of catalogs off the stack, Jonathan started to believe he really wouldn’t get to go to Brazil. With a desperate swipe he uncovered a manila envelope. Could it really be that easy? It did contain a lump that looked suspiciously like a passport. With a triumphant cry he ripped it open to uncover his passport with the visa pasted securely inside. Against all odds he was going to Brazil. Some called it a fluke that it had come in such short time, but Jonathan knew the truth.
Spending a month in a foreign country was a new experience. He had been able to pull teeth, clean wounds, fill prescriptions, take hundreds of blood pressures, and tour the country. But it wasn’t a year a service and spiritual revival. It didn’t sate his desire to take a year out of college; instead it reaffirmed his commitment. He was sure that a year of service was going to be perfect—filled with spiritual experiences and reality.