Where else can you sit and catch up on thirty-five e-mails? In Amsterdam, when your plane is late. You know that you never are given the true story on airport delays anymore, but KLM was good enough to recognize that my late departure out of Amsterdam would result in clearly missing a connecting flight in Minneapolis which would leave me stranded.
As a result, I was booked into a four-star hotel a few blocks from Schiphol Airport. While there, I was able to rest, watch an American TV show in Dutch, catch up on my e-mails, and reflect on the last few weeks.
In my life, there have been some changes welcomed and some not so welcomed. Over the past year, I have really developed a group of friends while deployed to Germany so frequently and during the planned coming deployment through the end of the year, we had even planned our family Christmas to be in rural Germany.
Just a day or two before travel to Africa, I was told the opportunity to serve there no longer was an option due to some regulatory changes and it was cancelled. Yes, I was feeling a bit devastated, but “you can’t fight city hall.” I had stayed in contact with friends there since earlier this year and knowing a bit about how this would be dramatized within their culture, and in an effort to continue to be a strong testimony of presence, I made a decision to stop there and fellowship for a few days on the way home from Africa.
Now, I am looking out the window as the Airbus passes over northern Canada and am glad for the stop. Did I do much in Germany? No, not really. I ate food, drank too much coffee, went to the gym, closed some loose Air Force ends, took the hotel youth (staff) shopping for Oreos and Chips Ahoy, that’s about it!
What was really affirmed in my mind is that I have lots of friends there and in their own, I have been permitted to enter their lives and there is a strong voice inside of me (probably the Lord) telling me that I am not finished there. So. I am expecting to return there again soon…there is more talk to be talked, coffee to be swallowed, and cookies to be purchased and consumed.
Well, just one more stop to clear Customs and Immigration in Detroit, a plane change and to meet Gina in Tampa. Nothing like flying over the African plains… nothing.
Blessings and happy that the rest of the team is home safely.
~Carl for Arise Medical Missions (Pending US)