Beginning of the Beginning

The last few days have been a complete whirl wind. I feel like this phrase has become my new mantra here lately, as it has been the complete and absolute truth. The days seem to begin to whiz by and as if there already was not enough time in the days, the hours seemed to some how shorten when the departure date was so steadily approaching while so much remained to be completed.

I am learning so much about myself already in this process, and we hadn't even left yet. I have also learned that time management and organization are not my strengths. It was also noted that I have a tendency to form attachments to "stuff", as I have come across so many items in the packing process that held some sort of "significant memory" for me, which made narrowing down what I wanted to choose, so difficult.

So we made it down to the day before we were to leave it was my wonderful husbands 40th birthday. So of course I invited people up to give them the opportunity to hug us, and tell him happy birthday because this is a big birthday. People arrive and our house looks like a bomb was set off in the middle of it, and our loved ones didn't miss a beat, they move things aside and start making pizza and just enjoy their time with us. It was so evident how loved we are! I spent the entire evening just thanking God for the wonderful people in our lives.

Now the next morning is where all the fun is, airport day! We had to wake up at 4:30 in order get ready before the required hour commute to the airport. We had 5 huge duffel bags,  a large bag on wheels, a gym bag, and 4 back packs. With all of this luggage and the 4 of us we had to take 2 cars to the airport. Our nephew so graciously helped us with so much, and one of the tasks being airport transportation, THANK YOU KEVIN!!!!!! We owe you big time!

We had a crew of people to help us lug the bags through the airport to the counters to check them. I forgot to mention the each bag weighed nearly 50 pounds. Of course the airline we were flying didn't have curb side checking. Yet we were determined to navigate through with a smile on our face, as this was a big day for our girls, neither of them had ever flown. We were heart broken that our family that drove us to the airport wasn't able to walk us to the security gate, as they had pulled up to the curb anticipating us tossing out our luggage and then parking. Thus began the water works in the middle of the airport, very emotional and tearful goodbyes. The other family that was there to see us off, and has been such a huge part of our lives and such a tremendous help walked us to security as they had met us there and parked in the garage, so we were able to get a picture with them and have and even longer and even more tearful goodbye. But we are reminded of God's call, and we are honored and willing to do His work!
So we head into security and make it through with no issues. The boarding staff was so wonderful as to rearrange some seats so that we could sit by each other ( two in a row and across from each other two in the other row) when originally we were booked to fly one in front of each other, yet another answered prayer! Our seats were right at the back of the plane in front of the flight attendant, whom asked the girls "where are you ladies going"? and my girls answer at the same time " Africa" and "Texas". Which led me to explain to her what we were doing, and why we were headed to Texas. The flight attendant goes up the plane and when they are passing out drinks the other flight attendant starts asking me questions about our upcoming trip. Spreading the word about MercyShips! Later the first flight attendant asks me if we have snacks, I respond with " no thank you" as I know how much the snacks are on these flights, and she says " well your girls might like something later" and she pulls the tray out to allow me to pick something and says "no charge sweetie". I thank her and grab one for each girl. Next thing I know she dumps the entire tray of snacks on the seat next to me! So sweet! The girls were so excited about all the snacks, as was Brad! I was so blessed to have met this angel in the sky.
And we arrived in Dallas. Yee-Haa! We make our way down to baggage claim, and as the bags are coming up I am reminded to pray and thank the Lord once again for all the people that helped us this morning as they are heavy! The bags come one.....two.....three.....four.....five.....six..........and nothing, they shut off the belt. So we get the privilege of meeting some local people while filling out the required paperwork to file for a delayed bag. Thank goodness for those snacks!

So after filing the paperwork, which took what felt like forever we were off to get our rental. The girls were excited to ride on a bus that you could stand on. Mom and dad of course were not excited as we had to help load our luggage on and off of the bus, and did I mention they were heavy? But we got the car, and I have to tell you I quite enjoyed it. I think I might know what I want when we get back and I have to get a new car, but we shall see because I change my mind every other day. The luggage just fit, and we were off. The girls were asleep within 10 minutes of pulling out of the airport.

After an hour and half of travel we had arrived. We had a bit of an emotional moment pulling into the campus. It is hard to believe this is really happening. At least for me anyway, I have dreamt of this opportunity for many years and here we are at the training facility. I am in awe of God's sovereignty. 
This is the first thing you see as you pull into the campus. Of course we had to come back out the next day after church and take some pictures with the anchor to send back home.

We are so blessed and humbled to have the opportunity to be here and to have already met so many wonderful people from around the world with the same love of Christ with the common goal of helping make the world a little brighter in His name.

Thank you to those who have supported us, and helped make this dream a reality. Your continued support is so needed and appreciated!


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