Thursday, July 31, 2008

Mustard seed faith

Do I have it? I have conflicting proof on that account. Let me explain. I came home after my first year in Chile to spend some time with family and friends and to raise more money for my second year. My mission would not let me come back to Chile until I had 100% of my support committed. When I landed in the States, I needed $4,300 and had 2 1/2 weeks to raise it! After a week I was down to needing $2,200. A day before I left I needed $800. Here's where my mustard seed faith comes in. I never doubted that the money would come in. I knew it would. I knew God wanted me here, so He would provide the money. I just wasn't sure when or how. Here's where my lack of faith comes in. I was only expecting the bare minimum of what I needed. I didn't even consider the possibility of getting more. Well, after I made a small presentation at my church, informing them about my need, I literally had people shoving checks into my pockets as I talked to other people about how to support me online!! When I counted it, I had received well over twice what I needed!!! What does this mean? It means that I was able to also pay for my plane ticket back to Chile, something that my non-mustard like faith hadn't even considered a possibility. Praise God that He does more than we can even hope or imagine!! I was truly humbled by the amazing generosity displayed that day.

After a whirlwind trip in the States (honestly, I don't think I had more than one afternoon of solitude!), I returned to Chile on what was quite possibly the oddest flight I've ever been on. And I've been on maaaaany. It all started when we were on the plane, still at our gate at the Atlanta airport. People just couldn't sit still! The flight attendants kept announcing through the speakers that we couldn't go anywhere until everyone was seated. I swear that every time they said this someone else got up! People ran to the bathroom and rummaged around in the overhead compartments. Little children crawled, toddled and sprawled in the aisles. Flight attendants wandered around orchestrating an elaborate game of musical chairs, trying to reunite mothers separated from their children by those nasty seat-assigners. At one point they even had to make an announcement reminding passengers that sleeping on the floor was not allowed! And we hadn't even left the gate yet! Once we finally did get airborne, things seemed normal. Until my light (and the lights of the people next to me) decided to sporadically turn on and off. It was the oddest thing. Just when I thought it was the strangest flight of my life, the turbulence started. It wasn't the bumpiest I've ever experienced, but there was a LOT of it. In fact, the captain made the flight attendants stop serving dinner and take their seats. Of course, after they did this there was no more turbulence for quite awhile. However, it did return intermittently. Despite the Tilt-a-Whirl type flight, I was able to sleep, thanks to a very tiring 2 weeks and a couple Tylenol PM! But I think the turbulence must've continued, because I dreamed that I was living through an earthquake--a very long earthquake. :o)

My first day in Chile was filled by spending time with my previous host family and unloading all the gifts I had brought back to them from various people. Almost a full suitcase just of gifts for different missionaries here! On my way home I found out that I did NOT have work the next day as we were originally supposed to. Yay for sleeping in! That was my plan. I spent a little while with my new roommates in my new apartment, and then went to bed. But sleeping in was not in the stars, I suppose. At around 9am I was awoken by a Sousa-like sound coming from what seemed my very bedroom. But actually there was a marching band (without the marching) at the hospital behind our apartment, and for 30 minutes they celebrated their anniversary with national anthems and other brassy songs. I was in heaven. After they were done, I fell back asleep, for awhile. My roommates had a meeting, and so I heard every labored step of our visitors up and down our squeaky stairs. I finally re-fell asleep and didn't wake again until noon! Oops! Well, I was very tired from my flight. I spent the day unpacking and relaxing. Then the next day it was back to work and life as normal.

Thus, my first few days back in Chile. Strange, but good. :o)
I'm sure I'll have many more things to post about as this seems like it will be a very busy and entertaining semester!

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