Thursday, May 10, 2012

Egypt is in Africa

“Ladies and gentlemen, we’ve diverted our flight to Cairo. Our third fuel tank is not functioning properly and we cannot make it all the way to Entebbe on the two tanks that remain.” I wondered if this was the kind of announcement made by all pilots before planes crashed. Really, though, what I worried about most was that my friends would be waiting at the airport for hours not knowing where I was. Communication systems here aren’t what they are in the U.S. We landed uneventfully and watch the daylight dawn over Egypt at what seemed to be – by me and my neighbor’s estimation – 4:00 in the morning. Less than an hour later we were on our way again, but that diversion made us more than four hours late to Entebbe.

As I waited in line to get my Visa, I prayed to be sent to one of the man-manned booths (as opposed to a female-manned booth). Instead I found myself waiting in a lovely young lady’s line. I mentioned that I had a multi-entry visa set to expire on the 20th of May and would she please consider extending that to the 2nd of June when I leave the country…at no charge. Holding my breath, that lady didn’t even hesitate. She stamped the visa and ushered me through. Thank you Jesus that we don’t always get what we want.

All three big black boxes and both enormous black bags arrived in tact. Now for customs. Something about this monster pile of new black packages signaled trouble to the customs officer and he blocked my path as I tried hard to ignore him. Freedom lay just 50 feet outside my grasp. I answered his questions by telling him that I am a missionary and that the boxes are full of the things I use in ministry. After answering his question about the specific items in each box, he brushed me past. Smiling faces awaited me. It is good to be home.