Thursday, July 21, 2011

Romania 2011 Day One: The madness begins

Romania 2011Day 1

Currently it is about 4 a.m. in the morning in Houston. The Romanian Missions team is now in England on a 4 hour layover before flying on to Bucharest in the Southeast of Romania. There is always something about spending 9 hours cramped on a plane that brings out the ability to look at the funny side of life.

The journey to London was relatively smooth once we got the Ayoubi sisters to the airport an hour or so late. Something about forgetting a passport and needing medication seemed to be the problem. Not sure if the medication was for either Hannah or Michelle or for Dani as she said goodbye to the girls for two weeks. Houston airport was pretty crowd free and so having 15 people walking around with the same shirt on drew attention as it has done in the previous 2 years ( I think I meant same colored shirt not the same shirt - having 15 people all in one shirt might be too weird). One gentleman tried to persuade us that we should buy property in Portugal because everyone is selling. He said if we did we would be treated like we were Portuguese. I kind of found a flaw in his sales pitch. There must be a reason everyone is selling - it’s not usually the best tactic to buy stock when everyone is dumping it. I maybe thought it was because they were being treated as though they were Portuguese that actually might be the issue. Not quite sure how the Portuguese are treated but apparently it’s not so good.

The plane brought its own events. One of the flight attendants started to question why we all had the same shirt on and then began reading it. He kind of got stuck with the “Isaiah six point eight” as he said it. I think he thought it was some kind of software program. He finally did come to realize it was a verse from the Bible. Maybe it was the picture of Jesus carrying the cross on the back and front that gave it away. A lot of the English may have a great sense of humor but that doesn’t mean we are all as smart as me :-)

We were all spread throughout the coach section of the plane. I carried on visiting Business Class to see how Stuart Holland was doing but remembered he wasn’t with us this year. Gretchen I think drew the short straw. As tall as she is she had to have the man in front of her who wanted to lay his seat back as far as possible. I think by the end of the trip she felt a bit like God as she could number the hairs on his head. Russ didn’t fair much better as he had the choice of spending the whole flight in an aisle seat next to a 2 year old for whom the family had not bought a ticket i.e. had no seat, or crammed into a window seat. The one

saving grace for him was that when the person in front reclined the seat he had a get rest for his Nook on her head.

I had a good seat/bad seat kind of situation. I got a bulk head seat (good) but I had the toilets right in front of me (bad). I had some nice leg room (good) but the guy next to me was not a small dude (bad). It wasn’t so much the top half of his body that was pressing against me but from the hip down. And boy did this guy put out some heat. I thought summers in Houston were hot. Also for some reason he sat with his legs as far apart as possible. I carried on leaning over to make sure the baby wasn’t coming out. As I tried to sleep it was nice to have the constant sound of a flushing toilet to lull me to sleep. I might try and get the sound added to the Soothing Soundscape CD used to help people go to sleep.

Heathrow was the usual schedule. Immediately head for Wagamama for a good English

breakfast and then shop or relax until the flight to Bucharest. I have no clue what internet I will get when we get to our retreat location in the mountains and so I cannot promise an update tonight but I will try.

On a personal note I do need to have shout out for Steven Buras. Last week I put my back out and it wasn’t getting better. The prospect of sitting on a plane for 10 hours was frightening. I went to see Steven on Monday, Tuesday and finally on Wednesday morning before the flight. I walked into his office on Wednesday in a lot of pain and walked out feeling much better. The good news is I didn’t feel my back at all and even getting up after sitting for so long was pain free. Praise God and thank you Steven.

Philippians 3:13-14 - ... but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

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