Hello everyone from Miami, Florida!
On behalf of Team Brazil, I get the honor of posting the blog for our first day of travels!! What a day it was! It started off with a bang this morning at 10:30 in Haviland where a majority of the faculty, staff, and remaining students on campus came to the front of the Student Center. There they all got an idea of what we were about to go do, we received a devotion from Tim Hawkins over John 15, and then one of the coolest things happened. Everyone who was there gathered around Ryan, Brandie, and I (Caitlin was already in Wichita, but she was with us in spirit) and they prayed for us sending us on our way to do the Lord’s work in Brazil! That was astounding and beautiful within itself and we had not even left yet! We got to the Wichita airport where we met up with Caitlin. Our contact, Steve, gave us all extra large suitcases to be checked. These are all full of school supplies, toys, laptops, and numerous random things that the school we are going to needs. Now for all of the struggles of our trip. Immediately, some of our checked luggage was too heavy, therefore we had to rearrange and open all of the suitcases and put different items in different bags to make sure each bag weighed the 50 lb limit. That was a minor setback, but it was rather humorous to see in the middle of the airport 4-5 different bags opened with dolls, towels, & toys being thrown around. I wonder what the people checking our luggage thought we were up to. Next came security. Three of our carry on bags all got flagged and had to be hand checked. Ryan forgot to dump his water bottle out so the security guard took it all the way to the beginning of the security, dumped out the water, and made Ryan go through the whole security process again. Caitlin’s toothpaste was a few ounces too big and sadly it was thrown away. In my bag, I had a “rectangular object that he could not tell what it was and it gave off a weird density.” It was this beautiful journal that I received from Kathy Kirkbride that I have been saving for this trip specifically. Luckily, they let me keep that! 😀 The next part of our trip was our flight. This was my first flight ever! I have never been in a plane before and let me say this: It all felt surreal and everything was exciting to me! I couldn’t believe that I was actually flying! Everyone else has flown before except me. Even though everyone said that this flight was one of the rockiest and shakiest flights they have ever been on, it did not matter to me. In Dallas everything was fine except poor Caitlin realized she lost the lid to her new water bottle that Brandie got her. The flight from Dallas to Miami was smooth. We got to see the sunset over the clouds and over some water. It was gorgeous. I fell asleep on both plane rides for awhile due to some motion sickness pills I took so that I would not get motion sickness. It worked, but it knocked me out cold. Once we got to Miami, our bags were there and waiting for us. There are eight checked bags and each of us has a carry-on. The eight checked bags are not small at all with most of them weighing exactly 50 lbs. We lugged these all the way across the airport to get to an area where we were told they could keep them overnight for us as we go spend the night in a hotel without the bags. We arrived there at 9:30. The overnight service closed at 9. So therefore, we were forced to drag them around with us. Ryan then called the hotel to have them send a shuttle to the airport to pick us up. An hour and a half later, the shuttle finally arrived. It arrived, but it was already packed full of people and suitcases. Somehow, we all managed to cram in and fit like sardines in a can. The luggage even all made it as well! Then we get to our hotel and we just happen to be on the third floor the farthest away from the elevator. So we have to carry all eight of our huge backs up a couple flights to our rooms. That was exhausting. But now we are here in our hotel, safe and sound not really worried about all of the minor things that have gone wrong today. We truly believe that God is with us on this trip and that He is in complete control and we are trusting that. Now for some positive things. As I was on my first flight looking down at the fields we were flying by, I could not help but fall in love with the clouds above, below, and next to us. I am the type of person who tries to find God in all the little things and I found Him there on the plane with me. He is like the clouds. He covers us from above and ensures our security. He encompasses us constantly and is with us even through our struggles and trials. And He is always right below us waiting to catch us if we fall. I read Psalms 136 this morning and over and over again it says “His love endures forever.” This is the focus on my trip so far. To focus on God’s love enduring forever and that it is my job to share that love because there is no way that I can even hide love like that. There is so much I have to be thankful for today! His love. This trip. The people going with. The people praying for us. The people who sponsored us. The people who made this trip possible. And so much more! I even appreciated how all four of us played a game while waiting for the shuttle trying to guess when it would show up! So it is with great love and joy in my heart to announce that day one of the Brazil is over! Please continue praying! We love you all and cannot wait to see what else is in store for this trip!
Hello everyone from Miami, Florida!