We recently returned to Mozambique from an 8 month furlough. During our travels back I was amazed at how many stresses popped up (some anticipated and others not). But I was also amazed (and grateful) at God’s provision in those stresses. I’ve been reflecting on those in the past few days and thought I’d share those with you.
- airport check-in in Louisville: on the way to the airport Shannon (our missions contact at SECC) asked if I felt better at this stage. My reply was that I would after we’d gotten checked-in. You see, we had our bags carefully weighed and were within our allowance on British Air (the Chicago to South Africa flight) but didn’t have a solid guarantee that American Airlines (the Louisville to Chicago flight) would honor that same allowance. This was an anticipated stress which in hindsight didn’t need to be. It was the smoothest check-in we’ve ever experienced and all our bags were accepted without any fees.
- A delayed departure in Louisville meant potentially missing our Chicago flight. The provision was that our flight out of Chicago was also delayed (though not by as much). Still, that delay combined with a run through O’Hare meant we made our connection!
- 10.5 hr layover in London was relieved by a children’s playground, some dominos which were a Christmas present, and the kids’ playing or reading on their Kindles.
- Not a single piece of luggage arrived with us in South Africa. The provision however was it meant we all could simply hop in a taxi and head to the guest house rather than Dan going in a taxi with a couple pieces of luggage and the kids and I waiting at the airport for an hr or so for him to come back with our truck and trailer to load the rest.
- A few restaurants were open in Johannesburg despite it being Christmas Day. We’d been told absolutely everything would be closed so we’d packed food in our luggage – which didn’t arrive. With the restaurants being open we were able to eat lunch and dinner.
- Some of our bags were delivered to the guest house the next day, including the 2 bags we’d packed for immediate use in SA and for the drive home. This meant we had our necessary summer clothes, shoes and toiletries.
- Dan was able to get in to see a doctor on the 27th before we left Johannesburg when a skin infection suddenly reappeared.
- Our remaining luggage, since it didn’t arrive before we left Johannesburg, was sent straight up to Nampula where friends were able to retrieve it for us. That created extra space in our trailer for some purchases in South Africa which we otherwise wouldn’t have had room for.
- For fun we’d gone to a water park. When we were ready to leave I returned to where Dan was stationed to discover Asher wasn’t with him as I’d thought. For a good 20 minutes we couldn’t find him (major stress) but a frantic search finally allowed us to find him!
- December 29th – we were leaving the guesthouse to head to Nelspruit, South Africa for a couple days. However when we hooked the trailer back up to the car the lights suddenly weren’t working which meant we couldn’t leave. God’s provision here was huge. The guest house had a gentleman who was extremely knowledgable with car electronics. He spent his entire day off (10am – 5pm) working on our car/trailer and got it to a place where it was functioning enough to head on. The other blessings here were that no one was set to be in the cabin where we’d stayed so the establishment allowed us to remain in the room (out of the rain) so the kids could watch TV and play games in comfort. Also since our luggage for use in SA had arrived I had those food items we’d packed for Christmas day and was able to make lunch for us (since the guest house restaurant wasn’t open for lunch).
- Our credit card was blocked by the company for potential fraud (which was not fraud but us). Thankfully I was online that morning and saw the notice before we headed to the store so I was able to clear the alert before we found ourselves in a store trying to make a purchase.
- The 3 day drive of final travel home to Nampula was the smoothest we’ve ever had! A simple, fast crossing at the border between South Africa and Zimbabwe with no hassle and fees being waived. A simple and quick crossing at the border between Zimbabwe and Mozambique with no hassle from customs or immigration over our stuff!
There were other issues, though at the moment I can’t think of them. What does stand out, is God’s provision. And not just his provision but the quickness of that provision in many of those instances. Never were multiple stresses sitting in front of us, but rather each issue was resolved before another presented itself. Life isn’t always like that, I know. Sometimes we have to deal with multiple issues at the same time, but in this case it was a great reminder that God was walking each step with us.
Step by step He leads. Step by step He provides. Step by step we must follow.