We Bought a Van

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
16 Rejoice always, 17 pray without ceasing, 
18 give thanks in all circumstances; 
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

This is an example of a camioneta.
When we jumped into the bed of a camioneta we (silently) rejoiced and praised God for the opportunity to ride alongside the poor.  We enjoyed the wind whipping through our hair and toughed it out when the rain came in full force. We enjoyed sharing the funny experience of flailing about with the locals as the truck zipped this way and that.  Entertaining though it was, relying soley on public transportation made it difficult to do the ministry that we came to Peru to do.

This isn't the exact one we were
considering, but it is similar.
We prayed without ceasing. Morning, noon and night we asked the Lord to lead us to the right vehicle; the vehicle that would keep us safe and fulfill His mission through us.  Days and weeks passed, but no vehicles presented themselves to us in an obvious way.  Tired of waiting for the Lord to reveal His plan, we began the logical process of assessing our options analytically - pros and cons.  Our mental checklist included such factors as safety, cost, fuel type, accessibility of replacement parts, ability to transport additional people and many others.  Our analysis resulted in a sound decision: the best option for the Carmody family was a moto-carga with bench seating behind the driver.  We made arrangements to purchase the motocarga a couple days later and felt relieved that the decision making process was over.  We felt relieved, but not content.  Something wasn't quite right.  

The following day a man drove by our house in an old camioneta.  He stopped and chatted for quite some time. Only by the grace of God we understood each other perfectly and talked for over 20 minutes. Finally, I asked where I could buy an old camioneta like his.  He began giving me directions, but I interrupted and asked if we could just buy his.  He shrugged and agreed.  Before he left he went to his truck and returned with a bag of freshly baked bread.  He said he brought it to go with our dinner.  I smiled and told him Chris was planning to make soup.  "I know", he said.  The twinkle in this man's eyes made him seem angelic.

We didn't end up buying the man's camioneta, but our interactions with him led us right to the van that we feel was a gift from God.  It's PERFECT for the Carmody family!!!
Our new van meets all the criteria:
it's safe, it was cheap ($1250), it's a diesel with easy to find
replacement parts and it's designed to seat 16 people.

We're pleased 
to present 
"Burrito Gris" 
which means 
"Little Gray Donkey" 
in Spanish  

Burrito Gris is the perfect missionary vehicle for SO many reasons.  
It keeps us really humble.  
The salesman told us to lift up the front seat and check the water in the radiator before we drive it - every time.  
After we got it home there was a problem with it starting.  So, we had to push start it every time for over a week.  When we couldn't get it started on our own, we had to get others to help push.  We were quite a spectacle, as you can probably imagine! 

Burrito Gris allows us to enjoy each other's company completely because there is nothing to bicker about.  Without a radio, there is no need to agree on a station or song.  Without air vents, we don't need to discuss heating/cooling preferences. We just enjoy the air flowing in through the holes in the floor.
Burrito Gris can hold LOTS of people.  On our first outing we fit 29 people into our cute little gray donkey.  With only 75 horsepower, she struggled a bit to make it up the steep, mountainous roads, but with God's help she did it!!
Burrito Gris all "Jacked Up"... by Jack... how fun!!

We've already discovered that replacement parts are easy to find, praise God.

Jack and Michael's favorite part is the ladder on the back.  It provides easy access to the roof rack, which the kids have discovered is a fun place to ride when we're on the backroads heading out to the pueblos for ministry.

We give thanks to God for providing us with the perfect missionary vehicle, despite our impatience and lack of faith.  He is SO good!!!
We made a little video saying "Thanks" for supporting Team Carmody and providing us with the funds to buy our Little Gray Donkey.  Here is the link:  

Van Thank You Video

If you can't watch the video, please accept our humble "Thanks!!" and know that we couldn't do this without you.

Lots of love, Karen

PS - If you're wondering why we chose the name "The Little Gray Donkey", this is why... It occurred to us that a little gray donkey carried Jesus when He was inside Mary's tummy.  A little gray donkey also carried Jesus into Jerusalem near the end of His life.  We desire to bring people Jesus and figured there's no better way than with the help of a Little Gray Donkey.

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