Oh, yeah, my blog! Now I remember. I should probably do something about that. I should probably write about my trip. I got back the beginning of this month. I have a journal I could copy and paste in here, but for now I think I should summarize what happened, besides the day-to-day details. It'll be a good start to figuring out what I should say next Sunday.
I was kind of hoping for a big vision or revelation or something where God would show me his plan for my life. And I didn't get one. I didn't even hear an audible voice. So much for my spiritual missions trip.
I did learn some stuff that I will be better for (is that grammatically correct?). For example: I have been in church my whole life. In fact, I've been in a good church. And I've heard all the Bible stories about faith and trust and I know all the Bible quiz questions. I have a fair amount of head knowledge. But I've never really had peace about anything. Besides salvation, that is. I have no doubt or question in my mind about where I will spend eternity. But I've never been in any real life situations where I had to put that faith and trust stuff to use.
Guess what happened. On the way over, (I'm gonna give you my itinerary now, so you can skip ahead) I flew (with Jeannie Johnson, who is AWESOME by the way) from Seattle to LA, and from there to Melbourne,Australia. That was the long flight. And it was a little bit delayed. So with that, and taking forever to get our bags, and a long line in customs, we missed our next flight, which would have taken us to Cairns, where we would get picked up and taken to a place with beds. The unthinkable, horrible thing that never happens to a good traveler (in my head, anyway) happened to us. Great. Now what are we supposed to do? The trip's as good as ruined. We might as well turn around and go home. I managed to keep this all in my head however, and pretended it was as cool as Jeannie's. She just popped over to the desk guy under our airline logo and calmly announced we missed our flight. And click, click, click, we get seats on a flight that leaves in a couple hours at no extra cost.
Phew! OK, every body, life can go on! Earth, you can start spinning again. It was a nice little warm up for the next day. Hey, I handled it pretty well. Little bump in the road, no big deal. Maybe the Lord was protecting us from something and we needed to be delayed. See, that time, it was fixed so quickly I didn't have time to get too freaked out. The next day we flew from Cairns to Port Moresby: the gateway of PNG. To go anywhere in PNG you have to start there. This was supposed to be (and it probably was) the most dangerous part of the trip. We landed around eight or so. That was a long day. We got a shuttle from the airport to a hotel cafe and ate lunch there. We got picked up at twelve-thirty, got checked in and waited for our flight to Wewak (where Joey and Amy where) to board at three. And guess what. Right when we were supposed to board, some guy who apparently worked at the airport (he had on a reflective vest, after all) announced that our flight was cancelled. OK, that sinks, but hey, I can handle that. Its not the first time it's happened. Rescheduled for five? Oh, well. It's just gonna make my day a little longer than I wanted.
Five AM???? As in TOMORROW???!!?! No, no, no, no, I need to get to Wewak TODAY.
We were directed to the customer service desk where we would be taken care of. I started picturing flea invested cots in some PNG excuse for a hotel. I wondered if it would be worse to get fleas, or spend the night in the terminal on those plastic chairs.
Actually, we ended up getting put up in one of the nicest hotels I have ever been in. Like, classy. BUT I did not know that yet. I didn't find out till about six or so. I went and got our luggage (met a guy who was born there, was raised in New York and is now a missionary there. In PNG, not New York) and by the time I got back, Jeannie was about quarter way through a line that spanned almost half the terminal. Come to think of it, that's not very long. But it still took about two hours till we got up to the customer service window, and another half hour after we gave them our information before we got our vouchers. That gave me plenty of time to freak out. And believe me, while I managed to maintain my composure on the out side, inside, I was doing just that. At one point when Amy called to check and see if we were OK, I almost started bawling. Once we got on the shuttle to the fancy hotel, I started breathing again. But while I was waiting in that stuffy, stinky (apparently deodorant isn't a big deal over there) building on the other side of the world, I got a taste of how unsaved people must feel a lot. Sure, I prayed and asked the Lord to take care of things. And he did. But I wasn't used to having to consciously rely on the Lord, and I forgot to ask him to help me not be scared while I waited. So I was scared. As we flew out the next morning and I wrote everything down in my journal, I realized I was in a situation like that. So I didn't do too well on my first "test of faith". But now I know what faith really is. Now it's more than that thing I hear about all the time at church. It's something I have to exercise. It's something I have to work at.
Man, that list is getting long.
However. I got to practice again later, and it went a little better. Back here at home, there were some things going on with a friend that I was really worried about. And once again, I had absolutely no control over it. Finally I realised it was pointless for me to sit there brooding over it, so I got on my knees and gave it to the Lord. I told him I was tired of worrying about it and I didn't know what to do any way, so would he please take care of it and help my friend be alright. And help me stop brooding.
AND, he gave me a peace about it. I've never had that before. It was pretty awesome. I want him to do it some more. So I also got peace about not knowing what my life plans are. I'm just waiting.
So anyway, that's the summary of the important stuff. I had fun. I'll put some highlights from my journal in here later. But at least you got the gist. And I got it all written out.
ps. pictures to come! I promise!