February 1, 2013

the trip to guyana

Our travels began around 4 am Wednesday morning. About 20 minutes later than we wanted to leave for our hour-long drive to the airport and 6:55 departure. 30 Minutes after we left, we found ourselves stranded in an empty Wells Fargo parking lot off an I-5 exit. A pulley in the engine had seized up and a belt broke. Todd navigated from the interstate to the bank without power steering. Frantic calls went up, finally a little after 5 a taxi showed up, another one a few minutes after to accommodate 3 adults, 2 children, 2 suitcases, 2 giant boxes, 3 duffle bags, 3 carry-on suitcases, 3 backpacks, 2 car seats, and one large double stroller. 

We arrived at the airport around 5:45, after the check-in deadline. As we went to stand in the long Delta lines, a woman, who I can only guess was either an angel or led by God, came up to us and asked what flight we were checking into. We told her, and she checked her watch and shook her head. I explained that we broke down and had to unexpectedly hire 2 taxis and that we were moving to Guyana to be missionaries. She smiled as she escorted us to the front of the line, helped us get checked in speedily, and then took us to security. Todd got in line before around 50 other people, but our angel called us over and walked us yet again to the front of the line and helped us work our way through security. She hugged us as she sent us on a mad dash for our gate - we arrived as the flight was boarding. Had we waited in either the check-in or the security line, we would have missed our flight. 

The 5-hour flight to New York went smoothly in every way. Samuel schmoozed everyone around him and made friends with the 3 rows in front and behind us. Then we began our 9-hour layover at JFK.

Samuel napped for about an hour before something woke him up prematurely. He was not happy. He cried for about an hour - then with only an hour left before boarding, he cheered up. On the plane he began schmoozing once again and the travelers around him all thought he was oh-so-darling. As we turned onto the runway, the crying start again. We took off, offering him everything we could think of to make him happy, help his ears, or distract him. 2 hours later (that's not a typo TWO hours later) he finally fell asleep in exhaustion. I cried for another half hour from my own stress, exhaustion, and from the rude looks freely sent our way. 

An hour before we landed, he woke up. Unhappy. Another full hour of crying was enough to send me running. As soon as the isle was clear, I took Sam and made a run for the exit, leaving Todd to pick up our row and grab our belongings. It wasn't until we were off the plane I realized he didn't notice that I had tucked my little purse (with driver's license and debit card) into the pocked in front of my seat. When security went to look for it, it was gone. 

I reported my missing item and went out to get the phone number where we are staying. When I went back to give the number to the manager, I was led on a wild-goose chase through the airport to find her (meanwhile Todd has the kids and all the luggage he and James are loading into the van). I'm finally told I can write her a message and leave, when someone from the second story yelled down that someone had found my purse. Not sure what to expect, I waited. 30 Minutes later, one of the gals that had cleaned the plane brought my purse out - everything still inside. The lady said to me, "you must have been in a big hurry to leave the plane to leave this behind." I smiled weakly as I told her I hadn't slept in 2 nights and my baby had been crying for an hour and I just wanted to get off the plane. She agreed that would cause anyone to rush off the plane.

My first real look at Guyana was on the hour-long drive to the hospital compound the other missionaries here live at. It was a mixture of beautiful greenery and tropical plants and piles of rubbish in piles along the road. Millie giggled at we pointed out the cows grazing about and dogs darting across the road. Houses with bright paint lined the road as we got closer to town and more and more traffic entered the mix until James was in the thick of traffic that seemed to move in every direction from both lanes.

Finally we were arrived at the compound - exhausted in every possible way. Yes, the devil tried to distract, discourage, and disillusion us, but we will not let any of our trials get us down. We are about the Lord's work so we will be glad and rejoice in this day. 


kimbalaya said...

I can't imagine how rough that must have been! Praise the Lord for your attitude and not letting the devil get his way!

Kimberly Little

Anonymous said...

Whew! We had the cutest, most strong willed 1 yr, 5mo. old baby boy next to us on plane last weekend and that poor mama felt just like you. I did my best to let her know it was OK OK OK--ignore the haters--but she was heroic also in trying to console 'n calm--my heart goes out to all the young mamas everywhere! Ya just do what you can--and you did--and were blessed, and now let life begin! God will bless your socks off...

madin said...


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