Whew! What a couple of days! We left for Haiti early Saturday Morning and we still aren’t there yet! Yes, it’s Sunday aftn and we still aren’t there. We’ll start at the beginning...
Friday Night I had a cake to make so after I spent the day with the kiddos and had them packed and ready to go to Nana and Pop Pops I headed up to the bakery to work on the cake. Thankfully I have great friends who love to keep me company when I have all nighters - one of my great friends Gina joined me and we were able to do some catching up and just enjoy time together. I didn’t plan on the cake taking as long as it did but you know how it is when you are with a friend, you talk a little more and work a little slower? lol Anyway, I finished up the cake about 3 am and Gina drove me back home. She was such an encouragement to me and was a good sister in Christ as she prayed over us and our trip. Love you Gina and thanks for the many nights you’ve come and kept me company at the shop! I decided to go home and take a bath and relax then we’d head to the airport.
We got to the airport and it was incredibly busy! We did our check in at the kiosk and stood in the line to check our footlockers for the kiddos at the orphanage. We finally made it up to the baggage drop and they said they needed to do a visa check and we’d have to step aside and wait inside this little rectangle area and wait for the woman to call us - yes THE woman.. only one person in this entire group was able to do this job.. and, she was tied up and had been for a VERY long time. She had a customer wanting to change flights to an earlier one and he was not letting up on it. More and more time passed and I began to worry about getting things done in time to catch our flight.
Bryan flagged down another employee who kept pulling other people from the other lines and many of the people that came long after us were already gone. Bryan asked that woman if anyone else could please check whatever they needed so we could go or we were going to miss our flight. The lady says “Yeah, I can do that..” Really?? We’ve waited all this time and you could have done this? We sat our first footlocker on the scale and waited for her to tag it and she asked “where are your travel visas?” Visa?? Why? She continued - “If you go to Haiti for 3 months you have to have a visa.” I responded, “Well, we are only going 6 days.” She says “No, you are not returning till November 9.” “No, AUGUST 9..This Friday.” She printed off the ticket and sure enough it said November 9th?!
By this time we are going to have to fly through security and RUN to the gate - which as I peek around to the security line that is backed up I realize this is not going to happen. I figured it’d be an easy fix, we’ll catch the next flight and no big deal. I was not happy about it but hey, easy fix right? Wrong.
International travel is not that simple. I got on the phone with our travel agency and 6 1/2 hours later and many trips back and forth to the counter and calls to the emergency on call agent we finally had it worked out. I was devastated when I had to make the call to say we have missed our flight and they can’t get us there until Monday morning. I didn’t understand why all of this happened at the time and I don’t know that I fully do now, but I have seen God at work in it all.
We finally got on our first flight at 3:23 pm and headed from OKC to ATL. I think I slept most of this flight - off and on but still, a little shut eye, which after the all nighter and then the emotional morning we had, was welcomed! We landed in ATL and had a very short lay over which gave us enough time to get from one end of the airport to the other and grab a bite to take on the plane and they were ready to close the doors on us! We got to our seats and it was time for take off!
We were on an isle of 3 seats and there was a woman named Terri sitting by the window. I said hello and then chowed down. After we ate Terri and I began to visit about books since she had a Kindle and I had my “Don’t waste your life” book by John Piper. This flight was a great time for us both as we were able to share much more than just book knowledge. Terri shared with me some things that she is struggling with and I shared with her my experiences and how God has always been faithful. Terri and I bonded on that flight and I was able to pray with her over some of the situations going on in her life and she just blessed me so much. HI TERRI!! :) I gave her the blog address and my contact info so she said she’d keep up with us. Please pray for Terri and the other people we will meet over this week that God would continue to orchestrate opportunities to share his love and that we would respond.
Another thing that God did for us is that he gave Bryan and I a full day of NOTHING to do in Florida! We got here late last night and thanks to priceline we got an inexpensive hotel and we’ve had a mini vacation of sorts. We went out to the hot tub last night and just relaxed for a while. Today we went to a nearby beach and enjoyed the ocean. I LOVE the ocean! Such a beautiful example of God’s majesty and ahhh just his lovely creation. Have you heard the song Oceans by Hillsong United? Here are the lyrics:
You call me out upon the waters
the great unknown
where feet may fail
and there I find you in the mystery
in oceans deep
my faith will stand
And I will call upon your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
when oceans rise, my soul will rest in your embrace
for I am yours; you are mine.
Your grace abounds in deepest waters
your sovereign hand will be my guide
where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
you’ve never failed and you wont start now
so I will call upon your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
when oceans rise, my soul will rest in your embrace
for I am yours and you are mine.
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
let me walk upon the waters
wherever you would call me
take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
and my faith will be made stronger
in the presence of my savior
As Bryan and I ventured further and further out in to the crystal clear waters I had this song playing over in my head and I was at such peace with the Lord and his plan. I thanked him for the delay. Thanked him for the amazing opportunity to be here with my husband for a day enjoying his beautiful creation. I just felt such excitement and it began to well up from some place deep within me that I was in the presence of my savior and right where he wanted me to be. I needed this down time. I needed this time with my husband. I needed to keep my eyes above the waves and rest in the waters with my savior.
Something that resonated with me today while entering the water and floating out in the ocean was just how much easier it was to be deeper in the water. Walking down to the ocean was difficult with the sand that your toes and feet seemed to sink into with every step. The heat of the sand between your toes was intense. As we made our way closer to the water the sand became stiffer and the waves were crashing on the shore. Each step further into the water seemed to annihilate our bodies as the waves came over us time and time again. As we pressed on toward the goal of the waters beyond our reach the waves became less and less brutal and more and more comfortable and relaxing.
It was so signifying of how things are when we are following God. When we are told to do something and we just think, oh that’s so big, that’s so scary or that’s so hard and we take that first step It is the hardest. We get intimidated with those first waves that come crashing on us and we have a choice to make. Do we continue on? Do we press forward or do we turn and exit the water? Do we keep our eyes above the waves and trust in the Lord and his plan for our lives? After a while we made our way back to the shore and sat at the water’s edge and let the waves wash over us.. this hurt. Yes, HURT. The waves were brutal and the seashells were crashing up onto us with each hit. While that looks like a safe place to be - on the water’s edge, out of the deep waters, it was actually the place of the most pain and the least relaxation. I want to go deep with God! I want to keep my eyes above the waves!
If you skimmed over the song, do yourself a favor, even if you know the song, go back and read the words. Really read them and process them for a minute and take it in that you are loved mightily by the creator of this universe! The same God who made the oceans deep and makes the waves that crash onto the shores, made YOU and loves you! God is at work and I’m thrilled to be able to be a part of it! Thank you to everyone who is praying us through and has supported this trip from the beginning, for those that have helped with the lids project, to our family and friends back home taking care of kids and dogs for us.
God is going to continue to reveal himself and we pray that we will follow him completely, that our trust would be without borders, that we’d go deeper than we could ever wander and that our faith is made stronger. Please be praying for us when you head to bed tonight and know that we’ll be back up at the airport about 3 am tomorrow morning (Monday) and headed to Haiti! We will meet up with Angie from Project One Haiti at the airport and be off to serve the people of Haiti and spread the love of Christ there for the rest of the week. Please pray for God’s will to be revealed and plans to be able to be made and completed to continue to bring hope to the people in Haiti. Pray for the orphans we are going to be working with and for the team that is down there already. Pray for efficiency, safety, health, and most importantly for open hearts to hear the Gospel.
Thanks y’all! Love you all!
Bryan and Alecia
Here's a few pictures for you from our trip so far :)
Bryan and I finally on the 1st flight out of OKC :)
Ayden, this picture is for you...
Everyone else.. I have a 6 yr old boy - nuff said.
The beach we went to - I love the crystal clear water and the transition in the water colors.
another picture of the beach - We were at Los Olas Beach
Man, you can't see this very well but it sure got some cheers all over the beach when it flew over.. it says Shark Week starts tonight - and something about a bad week to be a seal LOL
We saw tons of people with ice cream that had these dipped cones - lots of different options so we had to find them and take a picture.
Enjoy your ice cream - you know you want some now!