We had an interesting experience, four naive American senior missionaries driving at night in a port city, which apparently was more dangerous than we ever imagined. The roads were dark and the only traffic we encountered as we drove seemed to be an occasional freight truck. It seemed like we were driving forever and not getting anywhere.
It was very dark which made it impossible to see the road surface clearly. The road was bumpy and uneven, made of cobblestones-like material with lots of potholes. We weren’t going very fast, when all of the sudden we went over a railroad track or a pothole and we heard a loud clunk. We complained about the awful road and continued for a ways when we realized we had a flat tire. There was no safe place to stop on the road, so we drove until we could find a street light and a place where we could turn off the main road to avoid being hit by a truck. We got out of the car and soon realized the tire was not only flat, but it had come off the wheel. The place we stopped at was dark and we were surrounded by huge shipping containers all around and not a person or help in sight. The weather had also changed, it was now drizzling and quite cold. We were not dressed for this kind of weather. The four of us came together, offered a prayer and asked for help. As I looked around I was not sure where the help would come from, but I felt a sense of peace and I knew help would come. We finished our prayer and Steve began to jack up the car. Within minutes of our prayer a man pulled up in a car and asked if we needed help. Sister Harris said yes, yes and we all responded yes with great gratitude. The man pulled over and got out then said it was not a safe place to stop. I thought he meant the location on the street was precarious, so I asked him what he meant. He said it was a dangerous area, not a safe area to be in. A very dangerous part of town, too many thieves. I explained to him that we were missionaries and didn’t have any money. He said it didn’t matter to thieves.
The man stood by watching over us of us as Steve worked as fast as he could while I held my IPhone flashlight so he could see what he was doing.
As soon as we finished our guardian angel got in his car and said “God be with you.” We thanked him and I said “God be with you.”
He remained in his car waiting for us to get in and pull away. Only after we had merged on to the road did he drive off into the darkness. Brazil is not always a safe place and you have to be watchful at all times. In our moment of need, this godsend stranger watched over us. He was an answer to our prayer and definitely our guardian angel that night.
This was another miracle for us. Tender mercies are all around and yet so often we do not see them. He truly was an answer to our prayer. This was yet another demonstration of the inherent goodness of many of the Brazilian people.