In May of 2016, I was pretty frustrated when I realized I didn’t have enough money to pay off my $10,000 car loan before ministry school started in October. Another thing that was really frustrating and stressful was the fact that I’d just lost my job. As I watched the money in my bank account diminish before my eyes, I knew I had to spend some time with God so that I would get some revelation on how I’d get to Africa.
“Good Ideas” Aren’t The Same As God Ideas
I was embarrassed to know that buying a new car was a bad idea. Thinking that I’d drive for Uber to make money for Africa was my idea, not God’s. With a $10,000 car loan on my mind, I’d realized that was the most expensive mistake I’d ever made in my life. I knew I had to get out of the car loan somehow. You might think by this point that I’d learned my lesson about making expensive mistakes. Well, it gets worse.
I did spend time with God to get some answers about what to do regarding my Nissan Versa. But, I didn’t spend enough time with God. I know that because I didn’t wait long enough to hear Him say anything.
One day while I was checking my mail, I opened an envelope from the dealership where I bought my Nissan Versa. When I opened it, there was a letter that said that I didn’t actually qualify for the car loan I had. After reading that I thought, “Wow, this is good news! That means I can return the car back to the dealership.”
But before I actually drove my Nissan Versa back to the dealership to return it, I thought of something. I felt it would be a good idea to buy another cheap car. I thought that because I figured It would be convenient for me to already have a car to drive once I return the Nissan. But something inside of me kept telling me that I should bring the Nissan to the dealership before making another big financial decision. I ignored that voice.
After I completely emptied my bank account to buy another cheap car, a 1996 Toyota Corolla for $1,200, my brother and I went back to the dealership so I could return my Nissan Versa. But when I talked to the financial department about returning my Nissan Versa, I heard some of the worst news I’d ever heard in my life.
Two “Ernesto Ideas” Still Aren’t The Same As God Ideas!
Financial guy, “So you can’t return your Nissan because the letter you received in the mail saying that you’re not qualified for the car is incorrect. You are qualified. We’ve made sure of that.”
Me, “Um… So, why did I get a letter saying that I wasn’t qualified? Isn’t that the truth?”
Financial guy, “Sir, the reason you received that letter is that those are automated responses that are sent out as soon as we enter your financial information in our computers. That means the day you bought the car and we entered your financial information in our computers and clicked, ‘Send,’ you automatically receive rejection mail from banks that want you to make more money than the amount we entered in our computer.
We went through lots of banks that disqualified you since you’re not working. But after a lot of research, we did find a bank that qualifies you for your car loan. So, you can ignore all the rejection emails and be confident that the loan you have is a car loan you are definitely qualified for.”
Me, “So, I can’t return the car?”
Financial guy, “No Sir, you took out a loan on your car and you need to pay it back to the bank connected with your car loan.”
Me, “But what about the rejection email?”
Financial guy, “Sir, I already explained that to you. You need to pay off your loan. There’s no way you’re going to get out of your loan without paying it off in full.”
Two Cars, No Job, & No Money
At this point, I was just in denial and asking really dumb questions. I was hoping for some way out of the car loan besides paying it off. At that moment I realized the Voice in my head that told me to bring my Nissan back to the dealership before making another big financial decision wasn’t just a random Voice.
It was God. I should have known better. When I walked out of the car dealership, I realized that not only did I need to pay off my $10,000 car loan in 6 months, but now I needed to sell my 1996 Toyota Corolla!
I had two cars, a $10,000 car loan, no money, and no job! By this point, I was so done with “Ernesto ideas.” I knew I REALLY needed to spend time with God to figure out how to get out of my mess! Unless there was a way for me to drive my two cars across the Atlantic ocean so that I could go to school in Mozambique, I had to find a way to get rid of both of them…
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