Saturday, February 7, 2009
When I signed up for this trip I was excited. I had participated in all the fundraising events possible and put in some of my own money. The day seemed so far away. But before I knew it the departure day was here.
I finished packing and making last minute adjustments to the house so the boys would function with out me. The fridge was stocked and the laundry was done. All that was left to do was pack the truck and head off to church where we were meeting the other missionaries. We were all going to ride together in the church bus to the airport.
With our bags loaded on the bus, passports in hand it was time to head to the airport. It was time to say goodbye to our loved ones. This would be the first time I had been away from B for longer then a few days. Shawn and I were use to being apart. When we dated he was on aircraft carriers and training missions a lot. Email was a great form of communication, but it had been several years since we had been apart.
My heart was breaking. It was not I was going away for a week, it was not I was leaving my life standing in a parking lot of the church, it was the smidgen of fear I could be gone from their lives forever. (a bit dramatic I know)
Although unlikely, I was traveling in a foreign country in an airplane over a lot of water. Our pastor always said the plane you want to be on is the plane with a lot of missionaries. God will protect them, and if for whatever reason the plane does go down, you(the other passengers) will have a lot of people their to help you get you stuff together with God before you hit the ground.
As I hugged my child goodbye he grabbed my neck so tight and said " Momma I don't want you to go, I will miss you!" I explained I would be back soon and his big blue eyes filled with the biggest tears. Shawn prided him from my neck and gave me a kiss. Our pastor hugged each of us and we loaded on the bus. It was all I could do to fight the tears and not jump from the bus to stay home. Most of the team were with a family member or a close friend I was one out of the 13 who went alone. Two other gentlemen also left their wife's at home. They spoke to them on their cell phones before we were even at the airport. I did not have a means of communication so I just had to sit and miss them.
As we came closer to the airport, the rain came down harder. At this point I realized I had developed a real fear of flying, so the rain made me even more uncomfortable.
Once we arrived at the airport we dumped our luggage and were off to the terminal. The missions leader made us count off and each place we went we counted again to be sure we were all together. I thought this was a bit like girl scouts but who am I to judge. She had been on many mission trips, me none! One person was picked to bring up the rear of the group for the next 7 days. His job was to help with any problems in security, on the plane, customs, anywhere. I at first, failed to see the importance of this job as well, but once again who am I to say how this should all go down. My first trip, their gazillionth. As the trip went on I did, on many occasions understand these procedures.
I have not missed my cell phone, much, but I was starting to realize this may be a trip I wished I had one.