I must say that there is the rare mission trip that we take that goes as we planned. Audrey and I are headed to Bere, Chad to help out for about a month. Last night (at least I think it was last night) we drove to Portland and stayed the night. The following early morning we went to the airport and went from Portland to Newark. We had about a 7 hour layover in Newark before leaving for Lome, Togo. In Newark there seemed to be quite a bit of security, police and homeland security roaming around. The police had a dog sniffing stuff too. Hmmmm- what do dogs sniff for? There was no excitement that we heard. The time came for loading the plane and the same security people were asking questions and the dog was sniffing people and bags. The line was extremely slow because of this. Then after sitting on the plane an hour, the pilot announced that security had held up 5 people and that they had to take off all the luggage and find their bags. Then reload the plane with the rest of our luggage. All of this made us leave 2 hours late. We had a nice 10 hour flight to Lome. We initially had a one hour layover, so our flight had left already. We were shifted from line to line at immigration. Passengers’ tensions were rising. Immigration held on to our passports because apparently Ethiopian Airways needed to pay for the visas that we all needed. After about an hour of standing around we got our passports back and found our luggage. Then more standing around. No word on when our next flight would be. The one airways agent there was talking in circles basically deflecting questions.
Three hours after we arrived they arranged a small bus from the hotel to come and get us. There were about 30-40 with plenty of luggage. So it took many trips to make it to the hotel. So here I sit in some air-conditioning, my first time in Togo, sun is setting. Apparently the airline will call the hotel in the morning and let us know when we are to come back to the airport. For those who, this was their first time in Africa it was difficult. For us it was initially frustrating, then we prayed together and realized again that we are safe, God loves us, and we were able to get out a message to those who were going to pick us up. Then we had peace. Travel anywhere, is often not as we plan it, and this is no different. We remember that God is good and loves us. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33