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Unexpected Delays

Growing up with six people in my family never allowed for what I considered a “family vacation.” Sure, my brothers, parents and I would fly from our home in Anchorage, Alaska down to Maryland to see family. But we never went to places that my friends talked about, like….Hawaii.

Then, one Christmas we got these movies about different countries. Watching them made me feel like I was on a tour! I decided that though Alaska was truly wonderful, I needed to travel and experience exciting new lands and cultures. The desire to travel was planted within me; and over the years it grew!

Even though Anchorage is a city of nearly 300,000 people, the church I attended had six sister churches, and just one church-affiliated school that only goes up to 10th grade. So, for my last two years of high school, I decided to go to Upper Columbia Academy.* On registration day, I went through long lines of filling out papers, and one asked if I was interested in going on a mission trip to Borneo, Malaysia. I checked YES! It was definitely an adventure! In fact, from that time on, I’ve been in love with mission trips.

After graduating high school, I took a year off to work before continuing on to college. My church announced that they were planning a mission trip to Chiapas, Mexico. After some prayer, I signed up and started preparing to go.

The evening I was to fly out became much longer than I ever anticipated. I got to the airport and waited for two hours for my flight. It was running late. Another hour passed. There were complications, and I got nervous. When I thought I couldn’t be more discouraged, they announced that they were unable to fix our plane and we would have to find new flights. A hundred people flocked to the ticketing counter to rebook their flights. The line was unbearably long, so we were told to call the airline assistants for help in speeding up the process. When I called, the airline worker rescheduled my flight, and I had to wait for another 32 hours. By this time it was 7:00 a.m. and I was tired. I called home and had my mom pick me up.

I finally boarded my flight after the long wait, and arrived in Houston where I would then fly to Mexico. I had a layover and wandered around the huge airport for six long hours. At 8:00 p.m. we boarded, but halfway through the flight we had to turn around. By this time a lot was going through my mind. Was I ever going to get to Mexico? This flight only flew once a day, would I have to spend the next 24 hours in a huge city without knowing anyone? I did not want to wander around the airport anymore! I started praying…hard! God heard my prayers and after 45 minutes of waiting at the airport we were able to re-board and get to Mexico.

God used this mission trip to help me not only learn to trust in Him, but to trust Him. Trust that He will take care of me — no matter what is going on around me. I look back on this experience now and realize that even when it seems we’re alone in this storm of life (even a huge airport where you can feel stranded and alone), and we don’t have any more strength to hold on, God is still close to us, holding on tightly, guiding us to peace. He reminds us that we are never alone; no matter where we go or how lonely it may feel. We just need to trust that He will take us through

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About Elizabeth Wagner Angasan

Elizabeth Wagner Angasan

writes from the Pacific Northwest.

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