We've become somewhat notorious on the mission field. Need a ride to the bank? Don't ask the Solheims. Dinner out? Let's take my car. And heaven forbid you need picked up at the airport! Yep, we're famous for untimely alternator failures, deffective serpentine belts and broken axles (3 in the last six months!) It doesn't seem to matter what vehicle we're in, we're destined for car trouble.
In particular, these last 18 months we've struggled with repair after costly repair. We couldn't wait any longer. It was time to cut our losses and look for something new. So we made a trip into the city to start the hunt for the elusive reliable car.
We arrived in Tegucigalpa in high spirits, certain that we would emerge from the concrete jungle with irrefutable proof that the dependable car does exist. Our optimism was short-lived. We went to dinner with a friend and discussed the arduous task before us...finding an automatic, four-wheel-drive, spacious and newer SUV within our tiny budget. As we left the restaurant encouraged and ready to begin the hunt, we heard a familiar clunk. Just like that another one of our unfortunate friends/victims was sucked into the drama that is the Solheim Side-of-the-Road Rescue. And we added yet another tow truck number to our cell phone contact list.
Our mission took on a new sense of urgency. We hired a driver and his vehicle to continue the quest. Tracking the evasive perfect car proved harder than we'd anticipated. We spent a week exploring every car lot, both big and small. We called every friend or a friend's cousin who was selling "exactly what we need". But it was to no avail. Once we got close, so very close. But all hope was dashed when the seller refused to negotiate the high price. Time was running short. We were exhausted, devastated and about to give up on ever finding this thing called consistent transportation.
In a last ditch, we-don't-know-what-else to-do effort we began re-visiting lots that had already disappointed us. And to our surprise we not only caught a glimpse of this rare creature, we captured her! Oh what joy! Sure, she was over-budget. But she was a thing of beauty. Even our mechanic who is well-versed in the legend of the reliable car, was impressed with her perfection. We waved bye-bye to car troubles and took our trophy―our Nessie―home at last.
If only our happiness could've lasted. Two days after our triumphant return, disaster struck. We shouldn't have been surprised, but we were definitely stunned at the ridiculousness turn that our car problem curse took. The heater was stuck...on it's highest setting. Nessie had a fever!
Internet research revealed that her ailment was a result of an error in her computer system that only the Nissan dealer can address. And so just as quickly as she'd come, Nessie disappeared again into the depths from which she came. That is to say, we returned her to the dealership in Tegucigalpa. Did we really think capturing this beast would be so easy? We were left with nothing but one solitary photo as proof of her very existence.
This week is a national holiday in Honduras, so we have little hope of Nessie's problem being resolved in a timely manner. Thankfully, the dealership has offered us a loaner for the week so we can continue our ministry. Will she leave us stranded too? Will we finally find and tame the legendary Nessie? And more importantly, how much will it cost? The saga continues.
We realize that car problems are a part of life, but we also know that we've suffered far more than our fair share of them. We need reliable transportation to do the work God has called us to do in Honduras. We're trying to laugh at our situation, but the truth is that we have really struggled. And so has our ministry. We're hurting and it's not easy to say, but we need help. We're asking you to pray fervently for His protection in this area. You can also serve by giving generously to help our ministry recoup the expense of a new vehicle and the repair bills. Make your gift online here. Thank you so much for walking with us through these trials.