God Always Provides When We Reach Beyond Our Own Abilities
I have experienced some interesting situations during the travel part of my trips to India. As I have stated before, the trip to India is about a 20 hour journey...one way. It consists of several legs, meaning several connections and layovers in various airports.
On my first trip to India I had just boarded the plane and settled in for the 8 and a half hour flight to Frankfurt, Germany. I began to talk to the person sitting next to me in the window seat. His name was Joey. Joey was from India, but had lived in Atlanta for a number of years. His wife and children lived in Atlanta as well. Joey was traveling back to India by himself to attend the wedding of a family member. He was delighted that I was headed to India for my very first time. He seemed interested in the purpose of my journey...to preach the Gospel. We talked a good part of the flight to Germany where we both were making the same connection in Frankfurt to Mumbai, India. We arrived in Frankfurt very early in the morning for about a 4 hour layover. During our layover we drank some good German coffee and waited for our next flight.
On the next flight Joey was in a different section of the plane. By this time I was pretty tired and slept a good bit. We arrived in Mumbai just after midnight (10 and a half hours different from the clock in my body!). When I deplaned in Mumbai and was walking up the jet way, Joey was waiting for me at the end. Joey was a God-send! This was my very first trip to a very different country. It was a blessing to have him as he helped me through customs and immigration. I had heard so many horror stories about going through customs and immigration. It was a breeze! My flight continued on to my flight destination of Hyderabad about 6 hours later.
God was faithful to provide help for me. When we make the commitment to step out beyond our comfort zone, even into difficult circumstances (for Him), He always provides. We never begin to realize the potential of God's provision until we step out in faith!
A Lesson Learned...By Someone Else
On my second trip to India I boarded the plane in Frankfurt bound for Mumbai. I was seated next to a young man named A.J. A.J.'s family was originally from India, but he had never lived there. He too was on the way to India for a relative's wedding. A.J. had never made the trip before.
A.J. was a young business man and was a nice as could be. He was dressed out! He wore a 3-piece suit and an overcoat. In addition he carried a nice attache case. To tell you the truth, he stuck out like a sore thumb. I learned before my first trip to dress extremely casual. You don't really want to give the impression that you might be carrying a lot of money for several reasons. One I will explain later. I really enjoyed talking with A.J. on the flight from Frankfurt to Mumbai. I was able to share the purpose for my trip as well as the love of Jesus. He seemed very interested in my trip.
We arrived in Mumbai just after midnight. We had to transfer from the International airport to the domestic airport by bus. When you disembark the bus at the terminal there are folks waiting to help you with your baggage for a tip. A large number of folks. They are very persistent about helping. I had learned to say "no" since I traveled lightly and didn't have but one bag. You simply keep walking, pulling your bag saying "no" until you get inside the airport! Well...A.J. got off the bus and decided to get some help. He fished for his wallet somewhere in his overcoat (it was now about 80 degrees), and when he pulled it out money went everywhere. American money! People from everywhere converged on A.J.! He was on the ground trying to retrieve the money he had dropped (much of it paper money). From this point on, no one was interesting in helping me any more. After all, I was dressed in bluejeans, a long-sleeve tee, and sneakers! I quietly walked into the airport...unnoticed! I waited for A.J. to enter the airport. He did finally make it safely with all of his belongings!
On all of my trips I have learned the journey can be just as impacting as the destination. These experiences have taught me much about life itself. Life is much more than goals and destinations. Certainly these are important. But getting there is half the fun as someone once said. I've learned to enjoy the journey as well.