Adventures of cell phones and matatus

Imara Valentines Day 2013Today I lost my Kenyan phone.  It was really quite stupid actually.  I hired a car to take my visitors Marly and Caryn to Nairobi.  It is the car we usually take and the driver is a neighbor of ours.  Somehow my phone fell out of my bag, and I didn’t see it when I got out.

Several hours later, when looking for my phone, I realized I did not have it.  Now I need you to know that this is not an expensive phone, but it has all of my Imara business contacts on it.   I didn’t care about the phone itself, though I was very annoyed, I cared about the numbers.  We frantically looked through all of my bags and anywhere else we could think of. I called my phone, but it was switched off.  This is ordinarily a very bad sign, but my phone shuts off sometimes for no reason at all, so I had a shred of hope.  I called our driver, Daniel, to see if had found it. He had not.

Daniel is a matatu driver, and he drives a minivan loaded with passengers between Nanyuki and Nairobi every day.  We rented the entire matatu to go to Nairobi and then he fills up with passengers and heads back to Nanyuki.  I happened to call him when he was 30 minutes from Nanyuki with a van full of passengers.  He looked as well as he could from the driver’s seat, but did not find it.  While all of this is going on, I am frantically trying to figure out how to contact the cellular company so I can report it missing and they can freeze the account.

Daniel was so worried about my phone that at the next police checkpoint he decided to pull the matatu over and look more closely.  This surprised me because matatu drivers do not usually stop.  They pride themselves on getting people to their destinations quickly. But Daniel is a good man, he knew that if he waited until he got to Nanyuki it would be dark and all of the passengers would leave. He searched but could not find the phone between or under the seats so he decided to search the passengers who were seated in the front where I had been sitting hours earlier.

He found the phone in the sock of one of the passengers. The man had found it on the floor and stuck it in his sock so no one would know he had stolen it. He kept quiet during the entire search.  The people in the van were outraged and told Daniel he should beat the man.  Daniel did not.

This is a day of miracles. It is a miracle that I called Daniel just before he reached Nanyuki and all of the passengers left.  It is a miracle that Daniel pulled the matatu over on the side of the road to check because matatu drivers pride themselves on a speedy trip. It is a miracle that he decided the search the passengers and the biggest miracle of all is that he found my phone.

Some days I wonder what in the world am I doing in Kenya and then God sends me a reminder of his faithfulness. He cares about the details, and he continues to put people in my path that get me through the challenges of life here. He continues to open doors and makes a way when there seems to be no way. What an adventure.  I have such a faithful God!