So last time I shared a post entitled: Mission Experience–The Pre-Trip Stories. I shared about how I ended up applying to be a Mission Experience participant and how I struggled to trust in God through the fundraising experience. I vaguely mentioned that God had provided in amazing ways and left it at that. Well, as I was washing dishes after writing that post, I was thinking about those “amazing ways” and decided to just share one short story with you.
I had received an email from YD that pretty much said that I needed to promptly apply for my Philippine visa…They had finally gotten our flight schedule worked out and we didn’t have a whole lot of time to spare. The only problem for me was that I didn’t have any money to spare. (Read: I didn’t have any money at all!) We were asked, if at all possible, to have our visas applied for by Friday.
That Sabbath I went to church still wondering how I was going to pay the $30 fee. I had learned that it did me absolutely no good to worry about it and that God would take care of it, but I still wondered “how?”. As always, God had an answer.
A friend came up to me just before the church service started and handed me a check–for $30. I was so excited! Isn’t God awesome?!
So now I get to tell you about our exciting journey to Brooke’s Point, Palawan! 🙂
Believe it or not, I got up on Sunday morning about 15 minutes before the time when I was supposed to leave for the airport…that was when my Mom finally decided that if she didn’t get me up–I’d be likely to miss my flight. I jumped out of bed, dressed, made my bed, grabbed a bite (quite literally) to eat, threw my things in the car, and left the house headed for the airport.
We were running late (for obvious reasons), but as we were driving down the road I realized that I’d forgotten my water bottle at home. Thankfully that was the only thing I’d forgotten and we were able to quickly stop by a store and grab a new one.
At the Medford, OR airport, my Mom dropped me off and headed home. I was there alone with only my luggage as company. 🙂 Mom hadn’t been able to park anywhere that she could go in with me and so I was left to figure out how to check in. Kinda funny…as I think about it now I realize that somehow shyness doesn’t matter when you’re in a “great, big” airport and you have no idea what you’re doing!
I didn’t even consider trying to figure that place out on my own! 😉 I wasn’t sure how to check in so I asked a fellow passenger, who thankfully knew more than I did, and managed to get to my gate with time to spare. While waiting I was reading some worthless stories and God prompted my heart “Is this really what you want to share with those you meet during this trip?” The answer was “no” and so I turned my phone off and grabbed a book by Mrs. White to read.
I had been told to meet up with Helen, another ME participant, in Seattle, WA and then go and meet the rest of the team at the Alaska Airlines check-in counter. I safely arrived in Seattle and waited for about an hour before I decided I’d better just go find Mr. Ted–I still hadn’t seen Helen. So I walked all over the place trying to find the Alaska Airlines check-in, and I even had airport security starting to watch me closely. I finally asked someone and was told that I just needed to go up “those stairs”.
I went up the stairs and saw…nothing. Turning around, I saw that there was another set of stairs that I assumed I should climb. Once upstairs I saw about 5, yes FIVE, Alaska Airlines check-in counters!!! Oh, which one do I choose?!?
Soon I spotted some other people with red ME polos on and ran over to them. It was so good to not be alone anymore! We chatted for a while before we saw Mr. Ted and the other people who drove with him to the airport carrying things into the airport. Now I totally didn’t have to know anything…Mr. Ted already did! 🙂
We spread out the supplies, that needed to be brought, among all those traveling. We each had one YD box or bag and one personal bag to check in. Mr. Ted was able to contact Helen and soon she joined the rest of us. I’m pretty sure we flew from Seattle to San Francisco, CA, to Taipei, Thailand, to Manilla, Philippines, and then to Puerto Princesa, Philippines.
We had a lot of fun together, although I have to say: the trip home was even more fun! But you’ll just have to wait to find out why. 😉
All throughout the trip I was very nervous. You see, I’d only flown once before and had never been outside the United States. Security and customs were the most intimidating part, besides the constant fear that somehow I’d get lost or Mr. Ted would get separated from us. But through the experience I learned an important lesson.
Most of us know that in order to really live a victorious Christian life we must constantly keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, right? Now how do we make that practical? We can’t really see Him…
For just a moment let’s use my airport experience as a parable. I represent a Christian, striving to become more and more like Jesus. Mr. Ted represents Jesus.
Here’s how it’s practical…
To put it simply, I was nearly constantly thinking of Mr. Ted during the whole entire trip. Where was he? Would he be likely staying put? Or heading somewhere else? If he was going somewhere else, where would that be? What was he doing? Was there any way I could get closer to him? (Within reason, of course….) Will this activity I’m doing put me in a position where I might lose sight of him?
Do you get the point?
Friends, if we are to stay close to Jesus we must fill our every waking (and even sleeping) thoughts with Him! I didn’t exactly ask myself those questions, but I was constantly answering them. If our group was doing different things, and I had the choice, no matter which looked like more fun–I chose what he was doing. No matter how entertaining or fun the things of this world seem…We must choose to follow wherever Jesus leads. I would only go somewhere if I was absolutely sure that Mr. Ted would both approve and be there when I returned.
You see, I had no idea what I was doing in those airports that make MFR look tiny. But Mr. Ted knew exactly what he was doing (most of the time) because he had traveled through them before. Hasn’t Christ traveled this path of life before us? I assure you, He does know the way!
In Puerto, we met up with Mr. and Mrs. Evert and a few people who had flown from the East Coast and arrived in Puerto a day or two before the West Coast group. We stayed the night in Puerto, had breakfast at the mission there and left in a Jeepney for Brooke’s Point the next day.
Sunset Lodge, in Brooke’s Point, would be our home for the next month…which is a story for another day…
Until next time,