At the time of writing this, we are 41,000 feet in the air over the heart of Africa and it is Saturday just after noon in Indianapolis. It’s really hard to believe that it was already 26 hours ago we were just showing up at TPCC with excitement and anticipation in our eyes, the first item on our agenda for the trip.
Several of us had family show up to help with the logistics of getting departed, ensuring there were enough spaces in vehicles for people and luggage and to get to the airport and such. We also had a time for one large family prayer, led by Graham Carlos, before our team picture and departure for the airport.
There weren’t any mishaps in getting our group checked in and through security, which was nice–it’s good to have a trip start well. The flight from Indianapolis to Chicago was very full, though, and storage space inside the plane was going to be limited; this is where the typical traveling excitement began! Tandi was the lucky one in our trip who received the news. There was no more room for overhead storage and her bag would need to be checked, to be picked up at her final destination. I wasn’t in the vicinity when that happened, but the story I made up for myself is that there were some back and forth exchanges and Africa had to have been said several times. Several tears and a friendly passenger in business class later, her bag was inside the plane and appropriately stored!
The layover in Chicago was extremely tolerable. Jake Capito and I got to chat with a woman who is a medical author out of Paris and an international philanthropist–she saw two 20-something guys and thought that we would be able to help her with iPad troubles (she was right). She couldn’t say enough about how excited she was for us, both for doing medical work and for volunteering internationally. Random acts of encouragement along the way are always appreciated; I’m confident that by simply traveling as a group is one way to shine His light to those we meet–an ancillary benefit. By means of follow-up, even though we boarded on time in Chicago, we sat on the Tarmac, to no surprise, for well over an hour before taking off.
I got to sit in a section with Min Qi on the flight to Paris from Chicago. A wonderful lady named Cecila sat between us. Cecila is native to South America but lives in Paris, which is only important because her primary language is Spanish while French and English fill slots two and three. My primary language is English followed by German and Spanish. Her English was as good (better?) than my Spanish, but fortunately Min’s Spanish was better than mine. The three of us had a grand time in that flight! Regardless of language barrier, Min and I were able to reflect Christ through love and joy.
Airplane schedules are funny things. One plane runs late and then, all of the sudden, the world is slightly off kilter. Obviously that is slightly dramatic, but only slightly. Fortunately we didn’t have to run to the gate to get to our connecting flight to Kenya, but the stress levels were probably higher in Paris than anywhere else so far on the trip. I ended up with only about 5-7 minutes before boarding the plane.
Good news! We just landed in Nairobi, Kenya! Safe and Sound.
Bad news: It took me an hour to put this much together; may the rest of the week be more efficient…
Addendum: I wasn’t able to post this until arriving at our lodging for the week. It turned out that the short turn around time in Paris was more of a problem for the airlines–we are short 4 pieces of checked luggage. They will have a belated arrival. Vince and Stephanie Brooks met us at the airport and helped get us where we need to be and settled for the night. Its going to be a great week!
PS: Your continued support of prayer this week is greatly appreciated!
PPS: I definitely live streamed Saturday night’s TPCC service through http://www.traderspoint.tv! Technology is so great.