Travelling in Faith

I have been fortunate to have been asked to do some travelling and speaking, and it has opened my eyes again to get out of my comfort zone and again have to practice what I preach.  On Tuesday, I had a great time sharing with the Presbytery of Cincinnati, and got to see part of the city that was very instrumental to seven of my “growing-up” years.  It was great to be back there, and great to have the chance to interact with some wonderful people in the presbytery there.

From there, I flew to Chicago O’Hare (always a trip).  I couldn’t find my flight to New Delhi anywhere on the Departures monitors.  What’s up with that?  I asked an attendant, assuming she knew more than I did (she didn’t), and she sent me to the interntanational terminal.  I got over there, and there was no flight to New Delhi there.  They looked at my boarding pass, and said it was under American Airlines in their domestice terminal.  I should have guessed that an international flight would be leaving from the domestic terminal!  I got over there, and finally found my flight on the Departure monitors.  It was listed under D for Delhi, not N for New Delhi.  It was good I had extra time to kill, because this all took me about an hour.

The 15 hour flight from Chicago to New Delhi was not bad actually – I had feared much worse.  But, the New Delhi airport was a zoo.  I am used to American airports where there are signs for taxis, parking lots shuttles, and hotel shuttles.  In New Delhi, there is only the taxi area, and it is crowded and face paced and harrowing.  I kept looking for my hotel shuttle and never did find him.  He called me twice and told me where he was, but I still couldn’t find him.  So, I finally took a cab, and he ended up taking me to a different hotel that was closer.  I think the taxi driver and the hotel work together to throw each other business.  I had to ask if the hotel was safe, because some of the streets and back alleys we drove down to get there looked like it had been bombed out recently.  I’m sure there are very nice areas in New Delhi, but I did not see them.  I was praying real hard the whole time, because I was out of my element, I didn’t know where I was supposed to be going, and I was at the mercy of the taxi driver.

It made me think about how much I try to control my world where I live in America.  I was once again being pushed to live by faith, and I was not comfortable.  I didn’t like it, I couldn’t relax, and I kept asking the Lord to help me.  And He didn’t disappoint.  I made it through the night fine, and got back to the New Delhi airport early this morning.  I had four wonderful airline employees who helped me out – I kept thinking they must be angels sent by God.  I literally could not have navigated the airport without them.  I had been told that my luggage would be checked all the way through to Katmandu, but that was not the case.  It had to go through customs in New Delhi first.  So, one of the employees walked me down to my suitcase, helped me through the customs area, and got it put on the next flight.  I went through 4 layers of security and finally made my gate.  Again, it took awhile for my breathing to slow down.  It’s easy in America for some of us to feel independant, to feel self-sufficient, to feel on top of things.  God once again today showed me that I am none of those things.  I need help from God, I had to trust strangers that I didn’t know if I could trust, and I had to step out in faith hoping that I was making the right choices, while having nothing to base it on.

And yet, God is good.  I made my flight, and safely arrived here in Katmandu this morning.  I waited an hour at the airport for someone to come pick me up (while 5 different taxi drivers offered to drive me anywhere I wanted to go for cheap!).  A young man named Robbie picked me up at the airport, and with a driver, drove me through the busy streets of the city, where walkers, bikers, motorcycles, cars, and trucks all try to occupy the same space at the same time!  Yikes!  Robbie is about half my age, and wants to go to Fuller Seminary when he finishes teaching English here next month.  Now, I was putting my trust in a guy half my age.  I still wasn’t comfortable, but again, the Lord worked everything out.

So, while I’m getting ready for my first talk in a couple of hours, the Lord seems to be reminding me of the same themes again and again.  I am not in control.  God is in control.  I can trust Him, even when I’d rather trust myself.  Luke 10 reminds us that when Jesus sends us out to do ministry, that we are sent out in need, without everything we’d like.  We are sent out needing to receive from other people, as much as we seek to give other people.  It’s scary for me being so far away from home.  It’s hard for me to relax being halfway around the world, in a place that I don’t know how to naviagate.  But, I’m learning again, the simple and basic foundations of being a Christian:  We have to trust in the Lord, and He will take care of us.

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