I’m writing this post in the airplane somewhere between Richmond and Atlanta.
What a day!
Thank you everyone for your prayers this morning. When we got to the airport we checked our bags and none of them were over 50 pounds. This was a huge concern for me because we had been checking them at home and kept getting different amounts on different scales. We had four scales and were praying the lowest one was correct! So each bag made it to the conveyer belt, tagged for Johannesburg, and then it was time for our boarding passes. The clerk was receiving a hold restriction on our tickets because we did not have visas for South Africa and our tickets showed we would be there longer than the allowed 90 days. We explained we were just traveling through South Africa and our final destination is Lesotho where we plan to get visas within the next few weeks. After an hour at the check in desk, several messages to our team, and scrambling to find some documentation to prove we were telling the truth, we were finally let through. I want to praise Tyler for how he handled this situation and thank Brett for helping outright as he was boarding his plane from Mississippi to Atlanta. God is good and has certainly given us the best team.
Thankfully we had gotten to the airport early so we still had time to say our goodbyes, get through security, and enjoy a quick lunch. Saying goodbye (really it was “see ya later”) was difficult but I could feel the presence of God guiding us and giving us courage and peace to take the steps away from our family.
The security line was empty. I told one of the men, “I like this a lot better when there are less people.” He said we just missed a big rush and that we “had impeccable timing.” My goodness that was not our timing, that was God’s timing. It was low stress and we were able to take our time getting five pieces of carry on luggage and ourselves through the security line. Praise God!
Lunch was delicious and were able to read everyone’s comments and messages that they were praying for us. Believe me when I say, we felt every one of them as God was showing himself to us!
We are about to land in Atlanta. Next task is to meet up with the Barnhill’s and enjoying our last meal in America! Then onto the 15 hour fight to South Africa! We cannot believe this day is here.
And taking a step back for a second. This weekend was more than we could have ever asked for. Saturday we were able to spend time with my younger brother, Tanner, after his summer away and before he went back to Tech. We had the most amazing night of worship and prayer with our church family and enjoyed even more time with close family that night. Sunday we were prayed over in every service by our entire church and had our last goodbyes with friends. My older brother and his wife surprised my parents by coming in town for the day and we were able to enjoy one last visit with our whole family together (until Christmas). Monday we split ways and knocked all our errands off the list and packed the entire afternoon and into the night. Both our parents helped us finish up and got everything we wanted in the bags. We had a great dinner with them and just enjoyed being together.
We are so thankful to love and to be loved by so many! This distance does not change the love we have for all our family and friends back in Virginia! We love you all and as one of my good friends said, “see ya on the flip side!”
Tyler & Rachel