Sunday, July 22, 2012
Getting to Ghana Wasn't Easy
Faith and I left Ethiopia bright and early on Sunday July 8 to fly to Accra, Ghana. We left the guest house around 5:45 a.m. with more luggage than we started with thanks to lots of donations from our generous team members.
We maneuvered our way around the airport with no problem until it was time to enter our gate. Everyone had to go through security again, and it seemed that the magnetometer was being overly sensitive. It beeped nearly every time someone walked through. As a result we stood in line for an hour without moving very much. Not to mention, there was only 1 line open for everyone going to Gates 1-4.
Boarding/Departure times were approaching and people were getting upset. That’s when chaos ensued – pushing, shoving, breaking in line, yelling etc. I’ll be honest, it was scary. Airport security did not want to get involved. They literally walked away as if nothing was happening.
I had to fight for Faith and I to stay together. As the “mama bear” was coming out in me, God kept reminding me to do what my shirt said....Go. Be. Love. My response... “Lord, these people need some TOUGH love!” His response... “These people need MY love! And I have put you here to show it to them.”
I must admit that I failed miserably in those intense moments. But thankfully, God is gracious and forgiving.
There was a student from China in line with us. We were in front of her originally but somehow in the chaos she made it through security before us! Honestly, I’m just glad she made it through. Anyway, she waited for us at the gate. Then together we tried to figure out what we needed to do to get on our plane. She and I both were clueless. The computer screen said our flight was boarding, but no one was boarding. That’s when God put a young man from Ghana in our path who spoke English. ONLY GOD!!!
Our new friend told me our plane had not been called for boarding yet. The skeptical look on my face (Yes, I have trust issues!) must have convinced our new friend to get a second opinion to convince me. So, he went to the airline counter to double check. He was told that our flight had been delayed for more than an hour, and the intercom system was not working so no one was able to hear the announcement. Obviously, the intercom system was tied into the computer system because the computer screen still showed that we were boarding & our flight was on time. I felt much better then.
All of the seats at our gate were taken so we sat in the floor and tried to relax.
A few minutes later, an airline employee walked through the area announcing the next departing flight. Lots of people got up and proceeded to the gate. A man walked in front of us dragging a child about 4 or 5 years old who was kicking and screaming. The young boy obviously did not want to go. Just behind us was a flight of stairs heading down to the tram that takes you to your airplane. A few minutes went by and then I heard a loud noise. I turned around and saw the young boy sitting at the top of the stairs refusing to go down and a suitcase bouncing all the way down the stairs.
At that moment, the man hit the boy so hard on the side of his head that it nearly knocked the child over from his sitting position. The boy was snatched up and carried down the stairs. My eyes filled with tears. I was stunned. My heart broke for the boy and for the man. I prayed. Hard.
Selfishly, I wanted out of there. My (physical) security had been rocked all morning. I longed for my entire family to be together again safely in Ghana – INSTANTLY!!! But it wasn’t going to happen right away. Faith and I were still in the midst of our journey. We had to go through the process.
When it was our turn to board, I noticed that the man who looked at me with such detest during the chaos at the security gate as I fought for Faith & I to stay together was on our same flight. More uneasiness came over me. I had such an unsettling in my spirit – for a lot of reasons & the man was the last straw. I really wanted to run away! But, I couldn’t. I prayed. Hard.
We rode the tram with our new friends and then headed up the stairs to get on the plane. I was almost at the top of the stairs when I saw it.....a soccer ball company sticker on one of the steps with a RAINBOW on it!!! At that moment I knew that I was exactly where God wanted me to be and I was not alone! He was with me. Scripture started coming to my mind, and I was overcome with His peace. ONLY GOD!!!
I would love to say that the rest of our flight went smoothly, but that would be a lie. Our plane was at capacity and filled with lots of rude and demanding people. The “Need Assistance” button went off so frequently that it sounded like a musical instrument playing a continuous song! I am not joking. I have never seen anything like it.
I felt sorry for the flight attendants. There was one in particular who seemed to take the brunt of the demanding rudeness. On my way to the restroom, God had me encourage her and tell her what a great job she was doing, especially with such a tough crowd. A little while later, another attendant came to my seat, handed me a comment card and asked me to write down exactly what I had told the other attendant. She said, “Please write down what you said. We REALLY need it!”
I have never been so glad to get off an airplane before! You know it’s bad when the lengthy lines at Customs looked good to me!!! So just imagine how good it was to see the smiling faces of my husband, son and friends once we got through Customs!!!
My husband was just about to give up on us too. The computer screen in Accra, Ghana showed our flight had arrived on time. Nearly 2 hours passed before Faith & I appeared!!! Now it was time for a new adventurous journey together as a family in Africa!
Through all of this, God was reminding me to Go Be Love - no matter what. Go Be Love when it’s hard. Go Be Love when people are difficult. Go Be Love when it’s scary. Go Be Love when people are mean and critical. Go Be Love when it’s chaotic. Go Be His Love in His strength! It’s His love that the world is longing for anyway, whether they realize it or not.
It’s time for each of us as followers of Jesus Christ to GO BE LOVE right now!
So what are you waiting for?
Loving HIM with all my heart,