The Haitian truck driver beaconed me proudly over to his hodge-podge Piccasso-esque contraption. He reached his hand outside of his missing window pressed the handle to open his door and exited his truck. He strode majestically to the other side, he extravagantly opened the red passenger door of his black bohemian artwork on wheels, and bowed like the best of French knights in shining armor. The young boys had quickly worked. They had expertly layered the bed of my truck with 1/3 of our missionary belongings. I approached the front seat, I was confused. More missionary supplies…there was no where to sit. He pointed to the roof of his truck. I inhaled sharply, (but I didn't blink). The truck smelled of aged leather, tarnished silver with a hint of citrus and armpits. It smelled just like my grandfathers old farm truck. He grabbed my left elbow to steady me and like a chef expertly handling a choice piece of meat, he firmly planted my left foot on the edge of the frayed supply laden front seat. With a quick navigation under my armpits, and a boost to my behind, before I could say jack sprat could eat no fat he landed me onto the very top of the cab. Nobody in America was going to believe this. Oh my goodness. Perched up high like this reminded me of my first beauty pageant parade as Miss Columbia College which led into a Miss Missouri parade and a myriad of 4th of July Parades, (a portion of my life I never shared or talked about). Have I come full circle? I felt a full fledged guffaw coming on. I couldn't help myself. My hand automatically cupped itself into the position as I gave my best Miss America wave at the other missionaries stoically arranged in the bed of the two remaining “transformer” trucks. They were clinging white knuckled and perched precariously on top of containers of rice, beans and American missionary edible foods. Their hinies were pinched tightly betwwn tools and building supplies and solar panel stuff.

My exuberant truck driver leaned his pearly whites out of his window, and beamed up at me, perched like a queen on her caravan throne. “Welcome Madam! The childrun are hahpee dat you cuhm. Dey will be sooooo hahpee to see you. You bring duh childrun hope”

I smiled my most royal smile and nodded thanks like the Queen of England. “What are you doing,” asked my colored, Negro, Black, African American self?

Cringing with a guilty catholic-like conscience
In spite of my deep rooted Southern Baptist-ness,
Somewhere from down deep in my baby toe came the prayer
“Forgive me Lord for so many times I have sinned.
I must not get distracted. I am here to do Your bidding.
To feed Your sheep. What ever it takes
By any means necessary
That is my obsession
Nothing must get in my way.”

Putting on my best Miss America face
Majestically riding atop of the cab of the truck
Full of food and supplies and…and…and…
It's on God, it's on…
Bring it.!

With a jolt, I began the ride of a life time. The roads were so horrendous the 12 mile ride took over 2 hours to accomplish. Two hours in which began my spiritual inventory.

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