Saturday, August 31, 2013

A couple miracle later...

Early this morning my plane taxied into Lusaka airport, and one more item on the complex list of 'getting back to Sakeji' was ticked off. There are a few more to get through, but the worst is pretty much over! So, a recap of my adventures and God's goodness to me over the last few days.


Thursday morning was spent packing, sorting, storing, weighing my bags repeatedly (I do NOT want to be re-packing in the airport lady again!), and starting to reach emotional overload. I find this the hardest time in the process of traveling to deal with--having to make so many decisions in such a short period of time, and spending hours cramming things into boxes and suitcases instead of hanging out with the people you are about to have to say goodbye to. Eventually it was all as done as it was going to be, we loaded the van, and I turned in my faithful little Camrey that had been such a blessing to me this summer. There was the long hot drive to Dallas, Flynn arrived, and then I had to walk away from my family again. Goodbyes never get easier; 'practice' only makes it worse. I had a largely sleepless but uneventful flight to London, and that's where the real fun began.


My plan was to go to the Tower of London, get back in plenty of time to catch my next flight, and have a nice relaxing 'buffer' day. Well, my cards were frozen again, so I ended up walking through the National Portrait Galley (Tudor through Regency) and hanging out in Trafalger Square while waiting for it to be late enough for the bank to be open. After some back and forthing, I eventually got the glad news that my cards were useable again, and I was able to buy my ticked to the Tower. I joined a Beefeater tour which was a lot of fun, and then quickly saw the Crown Jewels and the Bloody Tower before grabbing a sandwich and heading back towards the airport. This is where the fun starts.

The tube was PACKED because it was rush hour, and I started to realize that this was going to take a lot longer than I had planned, and that perhaps I was cutting things rather close. I took a look at my boarding pass and realized that I was in some pretty big trouble--the train would likely arrive at the airport about the time the gate was supposed to close. I started praying as the minutes ticked by, and by the time I came barreling out of the tube and went to retrieve my bags I knew I was in deep trouble. I have now been the 'almost dancing and crying with frustration at the flight I am right now missing' lady. I managed to get through security fairly quickly and without bowling anyone over, and then the race to find my gate (in the hope that the plane was still there) began. I went to the wrong gates first because it was so late that the gate wasn't displayed next to my flight anymore. I begged the BA people there to tell the Lusaka plane that I was coming, and then continued tearing through the airport in a desperate race against time. I was pretty sure I had missed the flight, and was starting to construct plan B scenarios most of which involved me having a little meltdown in a corner of the terminal. When I finally reached it, the gate was eerily empty expect for the ticket lady who was expecting me, and I was ready to sob with relief as I staggered onto the plane, dead last, but ON THE PLANE. Turns out, God sent some technical trouble to the plane which held it up long enough for me to race through half the airport to get there. I will never again complain about being held up at the gate--someone might be in my shoes and desperately racing through the airport. Praise the Lord for His goodness!

Saturday The flight itself was largely uneventful--I got more sleep on this flight, and was doubly thankful for arriving in Lusaka when I planned to. I had to wait for a long time at immigration because I needed a report order, but it turned out to be a good thing because now I don't have to make a separate trip to the main office. While in line at the airport I was watching and saw all three of my bags come through, and tried to keep any eye out to make sure non of them walked off. I did end up making a dash in to the baggage claim area before my paperwork was done because is just so happened that there was someone else with a big purple suitcase like mine, and it had been loaded onto their cart. I think they would have noticed in time, but it ended up being a good thing that I went and grabbed my bags when I did because the airport guys were about to wheel them off to unclaimed baggage. Finally I got my paperwork sorted out, got a taxi, and arrived at the Flight House where I enjoyed a good cup of tea and a hot shower.

Thank you to everyone who was praying for me yesterday--I sure appreciate it! Now I just need to fly up to Solwezi tomorrow, and then drive up to Sakeji on Monday. It's good to be home--smelling the smoke and seeing the lovely jacaranda trees in bloom, and I look forward to getting back to my little house in the bush and settling in.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

The last few days...

Things are starting to move pretty fast as I face my eminent departure, and I find myself trying to grab on to the precious moments and opportunities before I climb on that big plane Thursday evening. God has been so good to me over this whole furlough, and this last week in particular. God has moved some mountains, send people to encourage me, and made things possible that I didn't think would work out. On Sunday I had a great visit and time of fellowship and sharing with the saints at Golden Bible Chapel, and today I got to have lunch with my good friend Rae. Tomorrow will be the (hopefully!) last frantic shopping trip, and then the packing will start. Because of my humanitarian plane ticket, I get to take 3 checked bags with me, but it is surprisingly easy to fill them up to their 50lb weight limit! I will be packing some boxes to mail to North Dakota to be put on the fall container (which will reach me in March or April next year). So many decisions, so many last minute details, and so many emotions! I'm so glad that my heavenly Father is with me every step of this journey, and that so many people are remembering me in prayer. I'm also thankful that this time of 'limbo' will be over soon, and I'll be diving into the new term at Sakeji. Onwards and upwards!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Safely Home Again

After getting up at 4:15am to catch my 5:30 flight, I eventually made it safely back to Texas, and then safely back to Longview. My mom and youngest sister came to pick me up from the airport, and we may have made a detour or two into a yarn store and a kitchen gadget store on the way home! The rest of the day was spent sorting out the mail and packages that had come while I was gone and helping get some things done around the house.

I must admit that I'm a little overwhelmed thinking about all that needs get done before I leave to return to Sakeji in just over a week. I have my transport up to the school arranged--I was able to get a great deal on a ticket to Solwezi on a domestic airline, and Jill and Bethany will be coming down to pick me up. Prayer for me as I make packing and shipping decisions, try to see all the people I want to see one last time before I leave, and make decisions my final purchase to take back with me. The five months have flown by as I thought they would, and now I need to start planning for my new school term. It's a good thing I have the Lord's strength to do all this in!

Monday, August 19, 2013


I have a bit of time this morning so I thought I'd give a bit of an update about Columbus before I head back to Texas tomorrow morning. Spending time with Jennifer has been a blast, and we have done quite a bit of rambling around. Among other things we have:

*Visited a lovely yarn store where I might have walked away with a stunning skein of sock yarn...

*Visited a rose garden

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*Went to the coolest bookstore EVER

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*I visited the Columbus Museum of Art and enjoyed participating in conversations via post-it note

*Saw a play in the park

*Checked out the Santa Maria replica

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*Watched Fiddler on the Roof in an amazing old theater

*Had lots of good conversations with my dear friend Jennifer

Tomorrow I head back to Texas and have a week and a half to pack up before I head back to Sakeji. Where has the last five months flown?

Sunday, August 11, 2013


I have been having a BLAST in Montana with my friend Annie and her husband Paul. I just have one more full day, but I am so thankful that the Lord made it possible for me to be here! I'll post a full report later, but here is a mountain picture:

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I am stunned at how beautiful the United States is, and so thankful that I know the God who created it.

Saturday, August 3, 2013

St. Louis

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I’m posting about St. Louis before I leave because I’ll have less than 24 hours to get turned around when I get back to Texas, and somehow I think laundry and packing will be more important than blogging!

While here I’ve visited the St. Louis Museum of Fine Art,

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Found a lovely yarn store, visited the zoo and enjoyed watching some elephants swimming,

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And enjoyed a bit of down time. We took a rather rural rout up and saw lots and lots of fields in Aransas as well as a hint of the beautiful Ozarks as we crossed into Missouri. Tomorrow we’re taking a more interstate route back home, and then on Monday afternoon my mom and I will drive to Dallas and stay with my brother so I can fly out early Tuesday morning. The adventures just keep coming!