Friday, June 30, 2017

Headed to Africa

Wednesday, we arrived at the airport excited to begin the journey to see our dear friends, the Sengoga's who we met a few years ago when Joel and his family came to do the pastoral training program with Fellowship Associates (I blogged about their fair well party here).  Joel and Annie joined our D-group and for that year we got to spend every other Tuesday night getting to know them, hearing about their ministry in Rwanda and enjoying their friendship.  So Wednesday was really exciting for us since we have hoped, for so long, to do this trip to see them and all that they do in Rwanda.  We boarded a plane with some great friends of ours and their four kiddos to round out this posse to a whopping twelve passengers (eight who are 10 and under) traveling for some twenty-eight hours from Little Rock to Kigali, Rwanda with a hope and prayer of safe travels and wonderful memories to be made.

The kids were super pumped to be getting on a plane and didn't fully understand just how long we would be in flight so I tried to explain it in terms of how many movies they would likely be able to watch while in route.  Though we had prepped them for how the flights would be, we could not deter their enthusiasm.  We showed up to Bill and Hillary Clinton National Airport loaded for bear.  This was just our families checked baggage!!  With six people traveling for ten or so days to Rwanda (where, lets face it, the food would be different then our kids are used to and there isn't a Wal-Mart to grab something,  we packed lots of food and snacks that we knew could get us through trip.)
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Emerson's first grade class will be doing a study with Flat Stanley, so naturally we brought him along too!
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We made it through security and waited at the gate.  The dads decided we'd do morning devotions so John took the first day for our group by making a fun "secret code" treasure hunt of sorts that started with the flight attendant giving a clue to the kids and finally ending with them reading in Matthew 28, about the the great commission.  We gathered as families and prayed right there in the middle of Gate 4 before boarding the plane.
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As already stated (and it goes without saying) with a group this size and kids this cute, we turned heads from Little Rock to Amsterdam; we were not subtle in the least.  We got all kinds of smiles and "wow, what a crew" comments and of course a knowing nod when one of these precious little people had a moment of meltdown or whining.  In Atlanta, we ate lunch and passed the time by running out as much energy as possible by looping through all the terminals on foot; the kids LOVED riding the moving sidewalks, it was quite the treat for them!
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We did ride the "underground train" a time or two and this sweet girl had a blast doing it!
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I won't say the trip was pleasant every single second, sleeping from Atlanta to Amsterdam was a bit challenging, but I CAN say I do not fear the return flights.  We all made it, the kids did awesome with their iPads, Boogie Boards, seat back TV's and of course lots of snacks.
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Being our full time pharmacist as we continue taking our Malaria meds, is definitely NOT my most favorite job, especially since I have to crush Emerson's and Ava Jane's into powder then proceed to try and get them to take it when mixed in juice or milk....I'll just say, it's a tad like a hostage negotiation, but it's nothing an MnM reward can't cure.
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I'm so glad to be traveling with these dear friends!  What an adventure we are on.  I can't wait to live the rest of this story and share all about it with each of you!  We are excited to meet the people who work with Joel and Annie at Divine Destiny and to see up close what we have heard so much about and have already grown to love.  We anticipate getting to see how God is at work among the people there and how we can continue to come alongside the Sengoga's as they work to influence and impact the people around them.  Prayers for health and safety as we travel about would be so appreciated!
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