Monday, June 14th
Hey! I am in London right now, waiting on our flight to board for Lagos. The flight from Dallas was 9 hrs long. I so badly wanted to sleep but I was in pain for some reason and probably didn't get more than an hour.So far, everything has gone pretty smooth(knock on wood). It has been a whirlwind of 2 days(actually, week)! I intended to update my blog before I left the states but it just didn't happen. Saturday morning I left Wichita for Dallas early in the morning with my mom, sisters and a friend to meet up with the Starlings and others who are going to Nigeria. We got there early and hung out at the farmer's market and goofed around until I met up with a friend that was at the orphanage the same time as me last year,and we hit the ground running! We did errands, helped the Starlings pack, and just ran around until after 1 in the morning. In the morning, me and Kyrsten went to the airport to pick up a guy who will be going with us to Nigeria who is from Georgia. After that we had about 2 hours to finish up everything before we had to be at the airport. Between the 6 of us going, we had 18 bags that we checked and 2 carry ons for each of us. We arrived at the airport late(around 3:30 for our flight that was leaving at 5:30). It took an hour for us to get our bags checked and another hour of waiting in line for security so we arrived at the gate just as they were boarding. So, sadly, no time for phone calls to friends and family before boarding:(...sorry! The guy and girl(Ben and Andrea) that will be with us for a month are so sweet and we get along really well.
We have another day and a half of traveling. We will board at 11:30am local time(6 hrs ahead of Kansas) and have a 7 hr flight to Lagos. It will take a couple of hours to get out of the airport there and then we will head to a hotel for a couple hours of sleep.Tuesday morning we will get to a domestic airport and fly to Owerri and then from there we have a 3 hr. drive to our village...my HOME for the next 6 months!!! I am ecstatic to hold those kids in my arms and somehow, a day just seems so long to wait. But, I've waited over 10 months and I've come this far!
Please pray for the ministry! Specifically you can pray that I will just be a servant, a representation of the love of Christ, and sensitive to the holy spirit's leading throughout every day.
The flight from London to Lagos was smooth, unfortunately I again didn't get to sleep so my energy is fading fast! We arrived in Lagos about 5:30 local time and got in the customs line. Joey actually handled all of our visas while the rest of us waited for our checked luggage to come in the chaos. Everything with us entering the country went fine, the only bad thing is that they wound only stamp my visa for 30 days instead of 90 like they can. This is very irritating because it means more money and time to get my visa extended for time they could have given me in the first place.
After getting all of our luggage, we waited outside for our transportation for about 2 hrs. Getting to our hotel, which was about 2 miles away took us over 30 min because of the awful congestion and then we got pulled over by police who were looking for a little spending money. All went well though and we arrived at a very nice(for Africa) hotel. We ate and slept a little before having to get up at 5:30 to get to the domestic airport for our next flight.
Tuesday, June 15
Today we got up early and for as nice as nice as a hotel it was, there was no water in the morning. We flew to Owerri where we waited for our friends, Emmanuel and Ebuka, to pick us up. It was so wonderful to see there familiar faces and know we were one step closer to home. They brought a van with them for our 18 pieces of luggage, 12+ carry ons and 9 people...it was crowded, but thankfully it was a cool day and the breeze for the 3 hr ride home was amazing!
The children must have heard we were coming before we arrived because they were all waiting and yelling and so happy to see us. I felt like a giddy little girl on Christmas morning! The children that I left all look so wonderful and have all changed for the better. Ugo came running into my arms saying my name...pure bliss. I'm afraid it's going to take me a long time to learn all the new names. They are more difficult to pronounce I think. Baby Joy is big and so beautiful but will not come to me, hopefully soon. The twin boys are doing good and are such happy and content babies. At least they will be used to my white skin!They are all so beautiful and joyful children and I couldn't be happier to be home!
I will write more as soon as I can.
I love you all. Your prayers and communication are coveted!