So I decided not to go to sleep because I was going to the airport by myself. Sarah loaned me her car to get there, but I was afraid that I would go to sleep and not wake up in time to be at the airport at 4:00 a.m. So I packed and cleaned the house, dyed my hair, and tried not to sit down lest I would fall completely asleep. My plan worked and I got to the airport.
I was surprised that Natalie Martinez showed up at the airport with last minute cards and gifts for me to carry to the girls. I had a horrible phone situation while in the States. I had two phones. I got the other phone because the first had the range of a gnat in a mason jar. I was forever trying to find a signal. So I got another brand of phone which had better coverage. It was so small that I had to use the pitiful phone to call my tiny phone that always sunk to the bottom of my oversized bag. The sad part to this phone story, is that I permanently relocated the phone unexpectedly.
I was babysitting my grandkids and I had to get back home to finish up last minute details before I left for Honduras. It was about midnight and I ran to the bathroom before I left for home which was about an hour away. I didn't want to make any stops that late at night. I was in a hurry. Earlier that evening, my sweet sister in law loaned me her creme colored, fleecy coat with slick satiny pockets when the weather turned cold that afternoon while I was visiting with her. My phone was in the satiny pockets. I washed my hands and then I flushed the toilet and made a quick turn to leave the bathroom and my tiny phone with good reception slipped from the satiny interior pocket of my nice warm borrowed jacket into the toilet in the middle of the flush cycle. It was a nano second and I barely saw it leave the building. My first thought was that I messed up my daughter's plumbing. After several flushes I realized it was okay, and then I realized, " All of my numbers were in that phone for Honduras and Stateside". Then I thought, " I have the cruddy phone with no reception and hardly any numbers to work with for the last two days that I am in country."
Natalie had texted me the night before I left and she asked for my address so that she could bring the cards to my house. I wrote back a text message on the cruddy coverage phone and pushed the send button. It didn't send and I wondered why Natalie didn't show up. I picked up the pitiful phone later and saw in red letters, "Message Failed". It was very late when I realized she didn't get the message so I didn't call her back. But then she showed up at the airport at 4 in the morning!!! What a great heart. She sent her secret friend gift and cards to the girls. I can't tell you how blessed I have been with the heart and actions of my entire staff in Honduras. They just have huge hearts and are always going the extra mile.
So I sat and talked with her for a while and she went home to go back to bed. I fly stand-by or what is called a buddy pass. There is a person on our board who knows someone who works with the airline and they receive so many passes that they can use of give away that are about half the price of a regular ticket. If there is extra seats available you fly, if not you wait until there is an available seat. I got the seat and I was thrilled.
When we landed in Atlanta, I was looking at my tickets to find what gate I needed to find to go to Honduras. I noticed at that point that I was going to San Pedro Sula instead of Tegucigalpa. Joe Reynolds, who is a board member, missionary and long time friend of the ministry, comes to the farm so that I can go to the States. He is such a blessing. Anyway, he was going home, and I was going to get the truck and Esmerelda. Esmerelda has been living at another center for a while, but she is returning to our farm. She is eighteen but she is going to be going to technical school here, and she will also be finishing up her high school. I was supposed to sign for her. Tegucigalpa and San Pedro are about 4 hours away from each other.
So I woke up Natalie to call the guy who made the tickets, because his number was in the flushed phone. She texted me the number, and I called him. He said go to the airline counter and change the ticket back to Tegucigalpa. I did as he said, but all the emergency phones were taken off of the wall! I had to wait for the agents to come on duty. They came about 40 minutes later. I talked to one of the agents, and she said that Tegucigalpa was over booked by 15 people that had already checked in and they were having to pay 9 people not to fly that day because there was no room. She told me the whole week looked like that because people were coming home for the holidays. She told me to go and wait and see if I could catch the San Pedro flight and that way I would at least be in the country, but she said hesitantly, that flight is overbooked by 5 people, but "who knows". I told her I was praying.
So I called Natalie to get some more numbers so that I could get in touch with Joe to find Esmerelda at the airport, and called other people to contact Ben Heath, who is an intern at the mission to come and get me. Neither Joe nor Ben could call the crummy phone, but we could text. Joe asked me if I wanted him to stay until I got back, but I told him he needed to go because the flights were full and he might not get out if he waited. Then the creepy phone's battery started dying. I repacked a bag in Valdosta and my charger cord was in my other checked bag somewhere in the Atlanta airport. I don't understand the technology of a touch screen phone, or how amazing it really is, but as wonderful as it is, why can't it hold a charge?
I was thinking "What am I going to do?" and I felt like I heard in my heart from the Lord, "Just see what I am going to do". The huge group people started filing onto the plane. I ask one attendant how it was looking for me to have a seat and she said, "You never know, maybe", but she didn't look to hopeful. Finally, an older gentlemen in a wheel chair and I were left, he had a buddy pass too. Now clearly an older man in a wheel chair trumps an ambulatory missionary lady. The attendant checked the records and said there was a couple who checked their luggage in and were in the airport but didn't show at the gate, so I literally got the last seat. She said, " You will have to sit in an exit lane". I told her that I didn't care, but I was thinking to myself," I didn't care if I sat in the bathroom", I was just happy to have a seat. Our plane was delayed because they had to search for the luggage of the people who didn't make it to the gate. I felt bad that the couple didn't catch their flight and that the plane was delayed but I was giving "high fives" to God for what He did for me.
Everything worked out fine. Esmerelda arrived home at the farm, Joe got home, I got home to the 31 girls, and I am glorifying God about how He looks out for me. If my flight information hadn't gotten confused, I wouldn't have gotten to fly out that day. If the couple hadn't have missed showing at the gate, I wouldn't have gotten home to the girls. Even when I thought everything was terribly wrong, it turned out totally right.
If you think about it, Mary was unmarried and pregnant, which seemed terribly wrong, but it turned out totally right. Jesus never sinned, yet was crucified by a crazy mob of people and that was terribly wrong, but it turned out totally right.
I hope this Christmas season, if you are experiencing anything that seems not fair, or terribly wrong, that you can trust God to do what He does, and make this time in your life, "totally right" for you. He is faithful and He is Emmanuel, God with Us. I am thankful this Christmas not only for all my many blessings, but because God is not only with us, but He is for us too. Blessings to you and your family, The Happy Holiday Honduran MOM
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|Proud parent and grandparents|