The next trip was an unexpected one. On short notice, we packed up and drove through Mexico, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and all the other Central American countries to El Salvador to pilot an orphanage there. It was on the trip going there that this story is about.
Pulled Over by a Motorcycle Cop
Mexico City is a maze for winding your way through it by car. The streets are jumbled and unnamed, the freeways are crowded and twisting, and to ask for directions would be folly. The natives shrug or just wave in a direction. Nobody seems to know what you’re talking about. My dad, being the intrepid traveler that he is, seemed unfazed. Pulling a map out of the glove box, he would hand it to Mom and let her navigate. We were on a highway heading out of Mexico City when a motorcycle cop in black pulled us over.
Dad’s view of law enforcement was this: if you get pulled over, roll the windows down and have your kids smile and wave and jabber in English at the police, border guards, or whatever sort of official you came upon. We were hanging out of the windows, putting on the show, but it didn’t seem to help. He demanded that our small trailer, which we towed with our Suburban, needed a special permit. He took away our passports, Dad’s driver’s license, and other important papers. Dad argued and haggled in broken Spanish before turning it over to my oldest sister, who knows Spanish much better than Dad.
As time wore on, the requests by the cop were getting worse. Now the cop was sure he needed to collect a $3,000 fine and have our car impounded for three days. There was no time for this. We were on the road to serve an orphanage! We couldn’t drive away without our important documents, we couldn’t stay here forever arguing, and we couldn’t pay the huge fine. Mom suggested quietly that we start praying. If there was any time we needed help, it was then.
Dad was on the verge of exasperation when a white police car pulled up out of nowhere. Apparently superior to the motorcycle cop, an older man saw what was happening and returned our documents. He ordered the young cop into the back of the car. He looked at the trailer’s license plate, pronounced it worthy, and sent us away.
Just like that. The parallels between what had happened and what we had prayed for were amazing. We kept driving. We saw the same young cop on a motorcycle speeding toward us a few minutes later. The senior officer had let him go and was back to claim his bribe money. We didn’t know what to do. Then, just as suddenly as it had appeared, the white police car appeared behind the motorcycle. They both dropped back, and we never saw them again.
You could say it was a coincidence that the older officer happened along at the right time. You could say we were lucky, and it was just a chance that the older cop wasn’t as crooked as the younger one. But I think God helped us when we prayed. I believe He is faithful.
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Kimberly Reich Sutton wrote this while living in the Pacific Northwest.© 2002 - 2023, AnswersForMe.org. All rights reserved. Click here for content usage information.