Saturday, June 4, 2016

For my good and for His glory!

June 3rd, 2016
First day in El Salvador

Wow... What a day!

Actually, what a night! It was quite an adventure for me... God continues to put me under pressure in new, interesting ways. Flying internationally by myself is intimidating enough without flight delays and acts of well, God Himself!

If I had any one thing that I had been concerned about in my travels, it was lost luggage... and while that did happen, it was the beginning of the end of my struggles [addendum to this entry because I wrote it yesterday and I'm publishing it today: my luggage is still lost. Please pray that it will be returned to me soon!].

Everything would have gone smoothly... if I had picked another airport to fly from. But no, I had to pick Texas, where thunderstorms cause runway delays... Though it was actually pretty comical for a while!

We landed in an alternate airport (on an alternate flight because the previous one was delayed) to refuel and wait to land at the original airport (that was experiencing a thunderstorm). While we landed, refueled, and waited for the next move, it was completely, blindingly sunny. About an hour later and it started to rain... then came the lightning and thunder... Now we were stuck at the alternate airport for the same reason that we could not land at the original one! How's that for a plot twist???

Finally, we made it to Houston (we had been stuck on the runway in San Antonio). But surprise... the flight I was supposed to be on took off while we were landing. I hadn't quite started panicking yet, but I was getting kinda close to it. I looked online and United still had a flight to El Salvador that had been delayed.

"Perfect!" would think...

The gate turned out to be a New Zealand flight instead! That's when I got nervous... Now I'd have to wait in a customer service line with 200+ other people waiting to find new flights. At this point, it was getting late into the evening (I was up at 3 am to fly out here and it was now around 10 pm in Texas). Exhausted and alone, with no one to save my spot in line so that I could eat or rest or do anything, I began to cry. I knew that I had to keep going, even though I desperately wanted to just go home. Long ago, God gave me a desire to always finish what I start and that's kept me going for a majority of my life. The situation reminded me of the special I sang in church last Sunday: For my good and for His glory. 

"It's ok to pour out your heart to God, but never turn your back on Him."

Conclusion to this story: While in line for a customer service desk that I had been redirected to, I found that flight to El Salvador at a gate near my spot in the line. Though I did lose my baggage due to the last minute nature of the flight, I did finally arrive in El Salvador! And even if it was a long and hard journey, I know that God's blessings are right around the corner!

In Christ,

Stephanie Mitchell

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