Traveling is a trip!

Monday–our first “travel” day (promises . . .promises):

Don’t know exactly where to start . . .the end of today looks a lot like the beginning . . .

Our tour hasn’t gotten off the ground . . .unless 15 or 20 minutes of air time going nowhere counts!

After getting up when the alarm went off at 5:30AM for a 9:50 scheduled flight to Chicago, we were still stuck at MCI at 11:25 because our jet developed mechanical problems. We haven’t even seen the inside of a plane yet. In fact, American Airlines is now 3 for 3–all three planes currently on the tarmac have mechanical problems. The Lord is either fixing the planes or allowing them to delay us. . .for His own sovereign reasons. There is no doubt that much of what happened today was out of our control.

According to the original plan, we (7 of our total tour group of 28 are traveling together) were supposed to be in Chicago by now (11:20), but we were still filled with hope as we finally answered the call to board. Maybe we have our “delay quota” filled early so we would have clear sailing for the rest of our trip. Yeh, right!

Finally settled on the FIRST plane, we pulled away from the gate twice, tempting us to believe that we just might leave KC after all. But no, it wasn’t to be. That flight was finally “called” (vernacular that is now part of our personal vocabulary) after a couple of hours. We deplaned with our carry-on luggage, hungry for viable options. . . and food!

We passed the rest of our tour group in the gate as we deplaned and they were waiting to board their flight to Chicago. We were tired and frustrated but still excited that we would meet up with them again in Chicago for our shared flight to Jordan leaving at 9:00 PM.

After some wrangling we were able to get a seat on another plane leaving at 3:40. Hope springs eternal . . .we got on the much smaller American Eagle and it took of with very little delay. We got up to flying altitude and (I’m not making this up) the flight attendant announced we were turning around and heading back to KC. The deicers weren’t working and they would be needed because of the BLIZZARD in Chicago (two separate problems)!

There is more . . .but I’m tired and need to get some sleep because all day tomorrow will be divided between 3 airports (maybe even more if today is any portent of things to come) and a 8+

In the end we were in the air a total of about 15 minutes all day.

The 7 of us have had lots of bonding time today so we adjourned to our respective rooms at the KC Airport Hilton (rooms financed by American Airlines). The steward asked us where we were from and we just gave him the “look.” Small compensation for the grief we experienced and loss of at least one tour day when we finally do arrive in Jordan.

We have hopes that the 6:30 AM flight we are now promised on Tuesday will take off as planned. And that the 1:30 flight on to LaGuardia tomorrow (an side trip we hadn’t planned on) will come off as planned. We are scheduled to finally get on Royal Jordanian flight to Amman at 10 PM tomorrow. Promises, promises!

A bright spot along the way . . . a new muslim friend, Sarah, from Jerusalem. She speaks no English and, of course, I spoke no Arabic. She was very afraid when the flights kept being canceled because she didn’t understand what was going on. I sat down beside her, she started to cry and I just hugged her. She kissed me on both cheeks repeatedly. Words weren’t needed. Love spoke! The entire group had an opportunity to minister to her needs. Her son, Sam, lives in KC and has cancer. She came to the states to visit him. He was so appreciative of the care we took of his mom that he has called us several times and invited us all to stay with his family in Jerusalem.

Please pray for Sam & his mother, Sarah. Both are warm and friendly–wonderful people–but they need a relationship with Jesus. When Steve Guenther asked if he could pray for Sam and Sarah, Sam agreed and we all bowed as Steve prayed right in the busy terminal–quite a sight I’m sure. At the end of the prayer Sam claimed Allah’s name.

Be patient with my blogging. I’m new to this mode of communication. More tomorrow!

Sarah and I in MCI 1/12/09

Sarah and I in MCI 1/12/09