"Preach the gospel at all times; if necessary, use words." Saint Francis of Assisi

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

The Journey to Porto de Galinhas

Philippians 4:6-"Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God."

Why start this blog about our recent trip with that verse? You'll understand after we explain about our first day of the trip.

Since we've been married, Benay and I have never taken a trip together (just the two of us) for longer than 4-5 days. We've been blessed to take quite a few 1-2 day trips but never one that lasted a week. So, we were both trying not to be anxious about getting away but we were anxious to begin our week together.

One thing that excited us about this trip was that we were going to be leaving at 6:45 in the morning. It was going to take about 5 hours to get there (with one layover) and so leaving that early was going to make it possible for us to be on the beach on the same day.

We got to the airport at 5:15 and we were met with this:
A 2 mile long line waiting to go to our airline check in. "Do not be anxious about anything." A beautiful thing about Brasil is that they always move the elderly, the handicapped, women with kids in their laps and PREGNANT women to the front of the line. I love this about Brasil. We've literally been pushed to the front of lines before, by other waiting customers, because of our kids or because of Benay being pregnant. So, we moved in front of all these people and were checked in 5 minutes later. At 5:45 we were done.

As we left the check in woman said, as we were leaving, "You'll be called to board as soon as the runway is opened up."

Okay thank you......................what?

Benay didn't even hear that part and I barely did. What was she talking about? This is what she was talking about:Heavy fog had cancelled all flights. "Do not be anxious about anything."

So we settled in and enjoyed a little reading and drinking some beverages while we waited on what would surely be just an hour or two delay. Then 7:00 became 8:00 and 8:00 moved to 9:00 and no call for us to board. About 8:30 the fog started to clear and they began to call the 1st of 4 flights, that were scheduled ahead of us, to begin boarding. We were hoping that by 9:30 we'd be rolling.

Then there was another delay. The people had boarded the first couple of planes and were ready to take off but couldn't because of birds on the runway. Are you kidding me? Birds? Another delay. "Do not be anxious about anything."

What do you do when you can't take off because of birds? You call the cops.

I know it's hard to see but in the photo above you can see a police truck on the runway with a policeman in front of the truck. I think he popped off a few rounds to chase away the birds. Whatever he did it worked. Here's (below) the first plane taking off on the far runway with the police truck on the closer runway.
Now we have to be close to our turn to leave. We then saw one plane leave and then the next and before we knew it, we couldn't see any more planes from our airline. I started thinking of the Seinfeld episode when George kept screaming, "Serenity Now!!" I needed a little bit of that right now. No planes? Is this a joke?

No joke. We then saw them post the notice below. We are the second flight down from the top. You can see that it says going to Recife and that it was scheduled to go at 6:45 and now was scheduled at.........10:50. "Do not be anxious about anything." Benay didn't seem to be having such a hard time dealing with the delays as I did. As we talked about not being anxious during this delay we reminded each other that God had a purpose for the delay. I began to feel the anxious feelings go away and I started to enjoy my delay time with my wife. We reminded each other that even though we weren't on the plane we were still on our vacation. This helped both of us as we enjoyed more time together while eating a snack......

.......and reading.......

......and more reading.

We finally left Porto Alegre at 11:15 and made it to Recife and we arrived only 3:15 later than was scheduled. For some reason we skipped the short layover we were scheduled to have and the pilot told us he would get us there faster than planned because we had a good wind with us. We arrived safely and praised God for teaching us even more about turning everything over to Him. Something about being near the ocean helps release any anxiety as well doesn't it? Within a few minutes of walking on the beach we had already forgotten our hectic day.