22 January 2011

Safe and Sound in London

Our last update had us preparing to leave El Paso, TX. I believe this update will cover the most miles to date. On Christmas day, Jenny, Josiah and Jonas left El Paso by plane to go to Syracuse. Josiah and Jonas's first plane flights went quite well; only the last of three flights tried their endurance.

I spent Christmas day packing up our car and getting ready for the cross-country drive to Syracuse. The day after was my day of departure, and I made it as far as Amarillo, TX via Albuquerque, NM. It was bittersweet to say goodbye to the Southwest, where I grew up and where we've made so many new friends and welcomed Jonas to our family. God has been our shepherd and has lead us through green pastures in this American desert.

Our time in Syracuse went by all too quickly. Jen's parents and siblings were glad to reconnect with Josiah and get acquainted with Jonas. I had the opportunity to update New Testament Baptist and preach while we were there. We prized this chance to invest time with family and friends here before we took off for Africa.

Our flights for Zambia began in Michigan, and we seized the chance before we left to spend time with many of our friends in the Detroit and make some last minute preparations. I had a special opportunity to fill in to preach for seminary chapel while I was there. I was struck by how many people at InterCity Baptist Church and Detroit Baptist Theological Seminary who knew about the uncertainties in Kenya right now and told us that they were praying for God's direction and provision for our missions team and our family in particular. The fact that God had provided this opportunity to serve in Zambia before these issues came to a head was a particular point of praise among our friends there.

While we have been preparing for our trip for weeks now, we spent much of our time acquiring items we thought that we needed. Getting our luggage together and packed was something that we unfortunately saved for the last two days, and it was not enough time. We showed up at the airport about thirty minutes before our flight, and, with the massive amount of luggage we had to check, the airline could not let us board. In answer to many of our prayers, we were able to catch the next flight to Chicago in time to catch American Airlines last Chicago flight that day to London. The kids did a great job on the flights. We had a row of five seats for the four of us on the long flight, so the kids were able to lie down flat with their head or feet in our laps. That worked especially well for Jonas, and he slept most of that flight. Right now I am writing from a cafe in London across the courtyard from the hotel where British Air put us up during our two-day layover here. We're all a bit tired, and Jonas is feeling the effects of jet lag the worst, but we're so grateful for everyone who helped us get ready and for God's help in getting us here safely.

I'll update again once we have opportunity in Zambia. Thank you for your prayers.