It’s the day we’ve all been thinking about, planning for, and praying about for six months or more. Tickets are purchased, bags are packed, ten individuals who have heard the call to serve in Honduras are ready! But…there’s this thing in the Midwest in January that no one can predict…the weather!
Throughout the days leading up to our departure scheduled for Sunday, January 15 at 5:55 a.m., weather prognosticators are predicting massive ice to cover the Kansas City area. Schools are dismissed on Friday and the NFL sets the time back for the Chiefs game on Sunday. Road crews are pretreating streets and highways. It’s a full blown assault by mankind on the forces of nature!
Several make lodging arrangements at a motel close to MCI to make the early morning ride more doable. Others arise in the wee hours of the morning from a short night of sleep and head north for the 4 a.m. appointed time to gather for check-in.
What we all awaken to is the first of several “God moments” we encountered on Day 1…THERE IS NO ICE! We can’t believe it! The storm predicted to arrive Saturday morning and then Sunday morning after midnight has not arrived!
Check-in for fifteen suitcases of supplies, ten people and their carry-on bags goes very smoothly. We gather for prayer and proceed to our gate for departure. The question lurks on everyone’s mind…will the storm hold off long enough for our plane to fly?
We find the answer as we board the aircraft as the Captain informs us freezing drizzle has begun which means we will have a 25-minute delay in departure for the de-icing process.
Our team leaders, Dan and Anne, have already informed us of a short time-frame for our connection in Atlanta. That leads all of us to another question think about, “Will we be able to make our connection in Atlanta?”
Here’s where “God moment #2” happens. When we arrive in Atlanta, we have less than 20 minutes before our next plane departs. There is no way for us to get from the gate for which we are scheduled to arrive to the departing gate. What will we do? As we pull into what we think is a gate on the B concourse, we learn that there has been a change. We are actually pulling into E1 in the international concourse. Our departure gate is E6! We are within sight of that gate as we deplane and they are waiting on us! God has intervened on our behalf!
As we settle into our seats for the flight to San Pedro Sula, we learn that shortly after our departure from MCI, all flights were cancelled for the day due to weather. It’s another “God moment.” We all are thankful for the many prayers of our friends, family, and prayer partners that have made this day far better than it might have been. We take a moment in our seats to pray a prayer of thanks for God’s watch care over us.
Customs and baggage claim in countries like Honduras is always an adventure. Our experience goes quite well due to each member of the team pitching in and doing their part. The Honduran team of Sandy Raasch and Sandra Hernandez are there to welcome us and transport us to Copan.
The ride takes us through thick tropical foliage, small towns, and fields of corn, cows and forest. We all are fascinated by the views all around us. The road is challenging with its potholes, large trucks, frequent speed bumps, pedestrians, and multiple military/police security checkpoints. It’s a sensory overload as we try to take in this new country we are experiencing.
We arrive in Copan safely and check-in to a very commodious hotel. We’re all impressed with the arrangements that have been made for us. Dinner at a local restaurant and group devotions recounting the moments we encountered God today cap off Day 1 and prepare us for a night of sleep in preparation for Day 2.