Monday, November 24, 2008

Answered Prayer - Driving in Europe

I was recently on vacation for a few days in Portugal where we rented a car for a week, which was risky by itself. On the highway while I was driving 140 KM/h, I spent more time looking in my rear view mirrors than through the windshield, I'm certain cars passed me going over 200. Then there was that taxi ride down the massive hill in Coimbra through narrow one lane streets, but that's another story.

Through a series of events we found ourselves driving into Lisbon looking for our hotel on the night before we were going to catch an early morning flight. We had the street address for our hotel, but no map and no directions. To add insult to injury, I wasn't used to roundabouts at every intersection, and there seemed to be a distinct lack of street signs in the entire country. After we had circled the city once and stopped at a McDonald's for dinner and directions, the staff were very helpful and we thought we were on our way.

About 45 minutes later we realized we were hopelessly lost and we started praying that God would help us find our hotel somehow. We pulled into another McDonald's, this time I asked the girl at the counter if she spoke English, she said "a little" but it was clear no one behind the counter could understand a word I was saying. Then the guy beside me offered to translate, I told him I was trying to find my hotel and I showed him the address. He recognized this address but he said this is very difficult to get to from here. He started to give me directions but then he stopped.

Then, he said, "Why don't I lead you there?" We gladly accepted and we followed him through some crazy intersections and large roundabouts, all the time he was very careful not to lose us. As we drove we said to each other, God's really answered our prayers and sent us an angel to guide us home. After about 20 minutes he turned on his 4 way flashers and we pulled up beside him at an intersection and he told us this was the spot. We thanked him and asked him his name.

He smiled and said, "My name is Gabriel."

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