Trip to Liberia…Delayed
The details: I saw this graph today and it made me laugh. International travel…to a 3rd world country…that requires pre-approved visas for entry…with a team of 13 people…is a challenge. Yesterday we got stuck in “no man’s land” between the Liberian embassy, airlines, and the US Postal service. There isn’t someone to blame. In fact, I give a lot of credit for effort to the Embassy and Delta Airlines to work through a nearly impossible situation. Despite our prayers for the visas to arrive when they should have, the trip could not happen yesterday because our approved visas actually arrived…this morning.
What now? The trip will still happen with a slight delay and some remarkable flexibility. We will now leave next week instead and extend our stay 4 days. It is absolutely amazing to me that almost all 13 people (and it may still be all 13) will be able to make this adjustment.
Who I feel bad for: The Liberian People and our Partners there. We will still be able to serve our 4 new churches there is most ways we had hoped, but now it requires their flexibility. In a country with so little and where our visit is such an encouragement to them, I hate that they pay any price at all. I also feel bad for those on the team, but they amazed me so much with their spirit and flexibility that I’m almost over it already.
Why did this happen? I don’t know. If you know me, you know I think God is always at work, but I also think sometimes people assign things to God that were not Him. On this one, I don’t know. I had multiple people suggest how God may have a purpose for our delay that we are unaware of right now. I think they were leading me spiritually when I should have been leading them. I am confident that we will still do his work whether there is something unique about the new schedule or not.
What am I learning? Bobbie Reutter (a team member) posted this verse today. It was in a helpful blog post by @JenniCatron called “When you wonder the Will of God” and I think speaks to our situation right now:
“Be joyful always;
give thanks in all circumstances,
for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
I Thessalonians 5:16-18