There are two things about our missionary life that I wish could be different but, alas, are part of our particular calling right now: 1) the “feast or famine” part of getting to spend so much concentrated time with family, friends, church, etc and then being completely without those things when in Zambia and 2) traveling internationally with little ones.
I’m sure my normally healthy blood pressure levels shoot up in the weeks leading up to our long airplane rides, which would test the endurance of even the most patient and sanctified people. Anyone who asks how they can be praying for us as we prepare to leave hears a resounding “Pray for our flights with two little kids!”
So, now that my blood pressure has returned to its pre-travel levels after surviving our 38-hour journey (from when we left our Minnesota house on Saturday until we arrived at our Lusaka house on Monday), I want to share with you God’s grace to us along the way.
As usual, we had more stuff to take back with us than our luggage allowance provided. There was a slight chance that we could benefit from a “humanitarian airfare contract” with the airline we flew with, with which they could wave any extra baggage fees. We prayed for that “slight chance.” And God was gracious! No extra fees for us!
Unfortunately, the ticket agents in London were not as gracious with our extra baggage, and one guy gave us a bill for $750, since the humanitarian airfare contract was not recognized by our second airline. In God’s mercy, we ended up only having to pay $230!
Sam’s infant-in-lap ticket threw all of the ticket agents for a loop, and we spent about 3 hours in Minneapolis and London getting his tickets secured. But in the end, Sam was allowed to travel with us :), and we even got to use those lovely airplane bassinets for both of the 8-hour flights (a welcomed relief from carrying 15 pounds of squirmy cuteness)!
For how frustrating and tedious our airport experiences were, our 4 flights went almost as smoothly as they could have gone. Charlie was mostly content watching “Little Bear,” sleeping, eating tic tacs, and, of course, figuring out what all the buttons do (it’s a good thing the flight attendants don’t take their call light seriously)! There were occasional tears but no all-out tantrums or meltdowns! That was a huge praise.
And when we arrived in Lusaka, we were greeted by lots of helping hands, smiling faces, and even a marching band! It felt so good to get to the end of that long and tiresome journey. As a bonus, Charlie slept for 16 hours straight the first night back, and we all have basically had no problems with jet lag so far! Thank you for your prayers!!! God answered above and beyond what was asked for or imagined.
Even as we cherish the memories of our time in the States, we are glad to be back to what is feeling more and more like “home.” Thank you for your continued prayers and support, without which we could not do this work!