Sunday, July 01, 2007

Our Marvelous Mission Adventure Part 2 - Welcome to Albania

The flight to Albania was brief yet seemed like a long time due to the baby who screamed the entire two hours. Praise God for my mp3! I failed to mention in my previous post that there was also a screaming baby during the 7 hour flight to London. That baby however, found time to sAlbanian Sunsetleep whereas the baby on the way into Tirana never ceased exercising his lungs to the fullest!

Aside from the screaming baby, I managed to fully take in the georgeous sunset behind a range of mountains as it reflected across the Adriatic! I saw the beautiful coastline of Albania and it all finally became real to me. I was there, in Albania.

For almost a year I doubted. I didn't believe it would happen. But, God knew. He had it planned. I worried and stressed thinking that the funds would never be raised to send my entire family. But, at the last minute the funds came in. I don't know where they came from but they were there.

Albanian MountainsI remember trying to back out so many times. So many things happened to make this seem impossible. However, I have learned that with God nothing is impossible. Our group leader never stopped believing and wouldn't let me give up. He was such an awesome source of encouragement. My family doctor, who is also a member of our church, said that this was something my family needed to do and he never gave up. He said we should not worry and that God would provide and he was right.

With tears streaming down my face, I felt the wheels of the plane touch down on the Tirana runway. We were surrounded by the most beautiful mountains that seemed to give us the warmest welcome. It was almost as if Tirana was giving us all a huge hug.

We had some troubles getting checked in due to some fines that we were unaware of which had been paid but airport security didn't seem to understand. Poor Patrick (the group doctor) really got stuck after we were all already checked in. There we sat, watching as the debate kept going between Rob, Security, and Patrick. There were some questions as to Patrick's name on the list. So, as Rob called our names, one by one we lined up on the wall to prove that the number of people on the list matched the number of names...including our precious doctor (who we would all be VERY thankful for later), Patrick.

Loading BusAfter we all got checked in, we were warmly greeted by the Wright family. Once again I felt overwhelmed by emotion at the disbelief of it all. I could not believe I was there, in Albania on my first mission trip...with my children. There are no words that can express the sheer joy of sharing this experience with my kids as well as the brothers and sisters in Christ who would grow to become a very special part of my life over the next 12 days. As Cindy and I embraced, tears of joy were flowing. I remember sharing with her about the miracle we were experiencing simply by being there.

As we began loading our luggage onto the bus, we had no idea that we were about to get our first cultural lesson. We were told that the most dangerous task we had to overcome in Tirana was crossing the street. I was about to understand why.

So the door opens for Part III. For a little taste of the next blog, refer to the previous post on Driving in Albania = White Knuckles!

No comments:

Post a Comment