A couple months ago, I had an experience that gave me hope for this city.
I hopped into a cab and gave the driver directions. He didn't say much in response and started driving. Eventually, I could tell we were not going in the right direction and the usual struggle arose within me. Do I start making a scene in order to prevent this man from cheating me or do I let him continue to drive in silence while stewing over the disadvantages of being a foreigner in this country? For whatever reason, I decided to keep my mouth shut. I didn't have enough fight in me that particular afternoon to decipher the local dialect and strive to make myself understood to someone who couldn't care less about what I wanted to communicate.
I thank God I kept my mouth shut.
Two-thirds of the way into the drive, we were stopped at a light and my driver made a surprised gesture. He then flipped off the fare meter. At this point, I panicked thinking he was trying to pull off the typical move of, "Oh, my meter is broken. You have to pay 2x the fare now." I started to protest, only to see him switch the meter on again from the beginning.
Very surprised, I asked him about it. He turned around and gave me a sheepish look saying that he had realized he went in the wrong direction and therefore wanted to start the fare over again in order not to cheat me.
This... NEVER... happens here.
5 minutes later, we were at my destination and he had lost the majority of his fare because of his honesty. Again, let me reiterate that I have never witnessed such honesty in this city. It felt like a glimmer of hope was peaking through the fog of humanity. I don't know if this man knew True Life, but I suspect he did because of how different he was from what is totally normal here. His face was spongy, his teeth were black and protruded from his mouth, his eyes were crossed, but he was one of the most beautiful people I have encountered in this country.
He glorifies his Maker and builds my trust in these fascinating people that the Lord is redeeming.