it so fun and exciting to see god provide something right before your very eyes. this whole process of provision has been an adventure that will forever mark my heart.
it was a big deal. when liz and i moved here there was so much shifting that took place. even the very week when we moved liz had to change job posts, we weren't able to move into the location we originally thought was available for us and so many little detailed changes took place which far too many really to get into at this time.
a huge reality was not having a vehicle to commute daily to the things that were going on around us. thankfully we moved into a situation where our team was very understanding and able to accommodate us in our transportation needs (GO TEAM 9TH HOUR!!!).
soon enough we found our groove and those little cultural shortcuts that made life much, much easier. the bus became my friend with my boys as we would take it every morning to dutch's first school. similarly, the train was liz's friend as she rode it over and over until she figured the belgian system. it really become fun for me as the boys' faces would light up at every train riding opportunity.
|there is no cool way to spin it...i have a station wagon|
we saved and saved every penny we could. we asked and asked everyone we knew to ask for help. i didn't want to borrow money for a car. i have taken that road before and i was not in a place financially to rely on the payment being there. call it lack of faith, call it extreme faith, call it whatever you want but i kind of took pride in the suffering.
|the tape deck was essential for iPod usage|
one day after many, many, many emails to many individuals i found a car online that was a bmw and looked ok for our budget. we called and set an appointment up to go look at it. i knew nothing about bmw's much less the belgian system of buying cars (there are some things that are slightly different). i called my best belgian friend, jon vandeput, and the guy who always told me to get bmw's, ahmed. they both came with me to look at this car. it turned out to be a bust. on the way back home as i was taking ahmed home he turned to me and said, "zach, do you really want to buy a car?" i was taken back a little because i wasn't sure what he thought we WERE JUST DOING. i emphatically replied, YES!" we went to a garage in a little town close to waterloo called braine l'alleud (bren-lah-luh). we walked into this little lot area that was hidden off the main road and there were quite a few cars being sold there. i held in my deck of cards the trump card that was going to get me the deal i needed...a middle eastern man. ahmed, was gold i tell you, GOLD!
we walked into this place and everyone knew him by name and he was like their long time family member who didn't come around unless he needed something. as we walked around looking for a car in my price range of 2500 euros (about $3000) i found this gem. i asked ahmed about it and he said, "is this the one?" i said nervously, "i don't know." it was a lot of money that i had saved for a long time and i didn't want to throw it away. ahmed said let me take care of it. the dealer said it was 2000 euros but with passed inspection. i could over hear ahmed telling the guy to come down and make a better price. the guy came down to 1850 but without inspection. ahmed, again, i could tell, was looking the guy in the eye and very emphatically told him to "come on!" the guy said ok with inspection 1850.
YES!!! it happened, i got it! i was so pumped and came home to tell the family the good news. after a couple of weeks of back and forth (it didn't pass inspection the first time but ahmed told them to fix the problem and they did) i finally took the boys to the garage and drove home in our very own car.
on the way there i was asking the boys, because they too shared the excitement, "what shall we name our car?" dutch replied, "mcqueen" (after the character in the disney cars movie). i didn't think it was a good name. he then changed his mind and said, "no, lets call it dash!"