The bad news that started us out—a cancelled flight and re-route to Istanbul, Turkey—landed with us. (See March 21, 2015 blog post.)
We finally arrived in Kilgali, Rwanda, Sunday morning instead of the previously scheduled 8:40 Saturday night. (We left OKC on Friday).
What we didn’t expect at 1:15am was a long line for Visas (only two people working the late shift).
AND where was my luggage?
Two crates for Jamie, my missionary friend, filled with treats and supplies from her parents—and my suitcase—with every stitch of clothes that I so carefully packed, now missing.
Every piece I agonized over— will this be too hot? Will I be too cool at night? Will these shoes be comfortable??
No where to be seen.
There is that moment when you are positioned in front of the conveyer belt, craning your neck, searching for that purple bag, as people all around you are grabbing their suitcases and walking away—that you realize you are now the only one standing there, looking a disheveled sixteen hour wreck.
And that your stuff is not coming.
And you stink.
And your blue velour jogging pants and jacket that were perfect for the thirty-five degrees we left in on Friday, are a hot mess on a seventy-degree Sunday.
Then your mind starts to race.
Are they just slow in loading mine on the belt?
Or are they in some other country?
Will I ever see it again or will I have to wear this royal blue mess until I can buy some more clothes? Worry, Fret…
Ultimately, paperwork filed, even down to detailed contents of my bag.
Are they going to open it and count how many pairs of socks, pants and shirts I packed? I told them I had seven shirts and eight pairs of socks, but what if I forgot some in the count?
Are they going to refuse me my bag? If they find it at all…
We drug into the Guesthouse at three am. A few hours of sleep and church at ten.
The days are warm, but the nights are pleasant and cool in Rwanda. I slept in my clothes again.
The next morning, she took one look at me, she the dear guesthouse owner, and said “You look just my size.” She abruptly departed but in a moment spun back into the room with her beautiful smile and arms stacked six inches high with clothes.
Elsie’s clothes were a perfect fit. The first day I wore her loose fitting white linen capri pants and a mint green embroidered top. The second day I paired them with a bright pink tunic that I tied at the waist. I loved them!
The boys said I fit in really well now. I think it was a compliment?
Eventually, they found my luggage.
Soooo—we left on Friday and five days later I finally had my own clothes.
But the cool thing was—it was ok. I really didn’t care if it never turned up.
Funny how your perspective can change colors on the other side of the world.
I had all I needed with God by my side and a little help from my friends.
Philippians 4:6-Don’t be anxious about anything, but in every situation by prayer and petition with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.