Wednesday, September 05, 2007

On Again. . .Off Again

I realized there was something wrong when I tried to print the plane ticket. I planned to leave for Kenya the following day but was unable to access my itinerary. I spent an agonizing hour on the internet and phone trying to figure things out, and I was starting to get worried. My flight had been booked for over a month, but when I spoke with British Airways I learned that my reservation had somehow been canceled at the last minute. The travel agency was closed for Labor Day weekend, and it wasn’t possible to rebook a flight with British Airways over the internet or phone on such short notice. Furthermore, the prices for new flights were nearly double what I should pay, and they wouldn’t drop for another week or two. I was supposed to my landlord and pay rent in Nairobi by Wednesday and didn’t know what to do.

It has been difficult preparing mentally and emotionally to return to Kenya. After finally feeling ready, it now seemed I would have to wait. . .But I wasn’t comfortable with waiting. I made a last-ditch effort through a 24-hour travel agent and secured a ticket for early the next morning through Rome and Ethiopia to Nairobi. I began to pack hurriedly and think of all the things I needed to do before leaving. Then the new reservation fell through too. The connection time wasn’t long enough. It had to be canceled. So, I emailed my girlfriend, my friends and coworkers in Kenya and told them not to expect me anytime soon; to cancel plans to pick me up from the airport.

All this back and forth was overwhelming. It left me feeling very discouraged. I went to bed late that night, frustrated and tired, and I gave up on the idea of returning to Kenya anytime soon. It just didn’t seem possible.

In the morning, I asked some friends to pray for me and I read a few verses about Paul’s troubles with travel (Romans 1:13, 1 Thes. 2:17-18). That seemed to calm me a bit, and after breakfast I went to contact family and friends and let them know that I would be around for another week or two. As I opened my email inbox, however, there was a surprise. Miraculously, my travel agent had randomly checked her email during vacation, wrestled with British Airways in the early hours Sunday morning, and booked me a previously full seat on my original flight. I would be leaving in a few hours. . .This has been a hard lesson in trust, patience, and accepting God’s timing. But with His help, somehow I guess I’m on my way.

No comments: