For those of you who prayed and gave.... thank you! My car is in working order again. It took 3 frustratingly long weeks but my new mechanic, Luis, has finally returned her in excellent condition.
In fact, I don't think she's ever been working so well!
He had to put on a new engine head (as the one that I got fixed in Zimbabwe last year was in fact cracked) and all the valves, gaskets, and what-nots that usually go into such things.
Plus, he fixed my emergency brake (which was loose), replaced my starter (which was finicky), put in a new clutch (which was smashed to bits), and fixed the door handle on my trunk (which had been broken while I was on furlough)!
The man is magic. Magic! I say.
My engine now purrs as she bounces down the road.
Mind you, I still need new tires... but other than that, the car is better than ever.
Thank you for your precious prayers!