We have arrived!!
Here is a summary of the events since yesterday morning:
We started meeting at the church about 7:30, and getting the large packed bags moved out to the trailer. We had the help of a couple very generous men, Bill Hickox and Steve Anderson. The van was hooked up to the trailer, and Steve had brought his pickup with a topper. All our luggage was loaded, a few last minute tasks were done (including making copies of the music!), a few last minute pieces of information were relayed to the group and we were off!
|They wanted to stow away!!|
|Prayer time before leaving|
|Right before leaving Minneapolis Airport|
We arrived at the airport, full of anticipation, and unloaded our bags. We hired a few large carts, driven by airport staff to get all our baggage down to the checkout counter on the lower level. Then started the checkin process. Each of us scanned our passport, put two bags up for checking and printed our boarding passes.
First praise: All our bags were 50# or under, and all were approved by the check-in staff, even the wheelchair boxes!!
Second praise: We all got through security very quickly and smoothly!
First leg of the trip was from Minneapolis to Atlanta, GA. Fairly short flight, small plane.
Third praise: We were all able to stow our carry-ons in the overhead bins without checking them, even though it was such a small plane with limited space!
We arrived in Atlanta about 2:30pm, and stopped at the food court in the Atlanta airport. We had the pleasure of having a man play the soprano saxophone near us while we were eating. It must be a common thing, since there was a digital, baby grand piano set up in the food court. We were done eating and were sitting there talking, when this saxophone player started playing something familiar. It didn’t take long for a few of us to recognize this was our song! We have been practicing How Great is Our God (Cuan Grande Es Dios) for singing here in Ecuador, and this man was playing it, in the airport, without us requesting it, as we were sitting next to him. What an amazing God-thing this was! Sue pulled out her Spanish lyrics and we started singing along in Spanish. We had been joking about practicing in the airport, and here was our chance! When he was done playing, we told him of the significance of this song, and asked to take his picture. Here he is:
We made it to our gate and settled in to rest and wait for the plane. The Atlanta to Quito portion of our journey was much more comfortable, but longer. Each seat had their own screen with a choice of hundreds of TV show episodes, movies, music and games. All of us were watching some kind of movie to pass the time on the 5+ hour flight.
Getting off the plane in Quito was certainly an experience! There were family members waiting with balloons, flowers, and signs for their friends and loved ones. We had a group from MERGE Ministries waiting for us, offered us water, helped us with our bags (we thought for awhile we might have lost one, but after careful counting and recounting, we had everything), let us know the porters were waiting for a tip when they were done pushing our cart and were standing there, saying something in Spanish.
We headed outside to wait for our bus, enjoying the much cooler air outside, compared to the airport. Our bus was comfortable and most of us rode in silence the 45 minutes to our hotel/guest house, either from exhaustion or looking out the window.
We arrived at the guest house in Quito about 1:30am, unloaded and went to bed!
Health and wellness for all our team - especially Sarah J.
Safety while driving to all our locations