Well, I’m back at full speed in Japan; but, it couldn’t happen without a little prayer. My friends and their kids are moving from Japan to Brazil, but have been spending some time visiting relatives in the Tacoma area (south of Seattle) before heading on. Peculiar logistics kept us from meeting in the middle of my trip, leaving us with only the option of them coming to see me off at the airport. We caught up over coffee and sandwiches after I had checked in. Upon realizing an urgent need, as I was leaving for the gate, the husband asked to pray for me. Never one to turn down prayer, I put the departure time out of my mind for a short while.
From the time I left them, until I arrived home, there was a string of odd, interfering events; however, I stayed calm and just kept stringing together critical connections. Odd, you ask?
Woman at security repeatedly asking where to get a wheelchair and agent calmly chatting with her about options chewed up five minutes… boarded flight to Tokyo about two minutes before closing the door to push back from gate. Strange, meandering flight path got us into Tokyo/Narita late. Flight attendant announced that anyone on our plane making the connection to Nagoya/Chubu should go directly to gate 18. Secondary security check had no line, instead of the hundreds that are usually filing through: boarded Chubu flight with a good five minutes to spare. Pushed back, taxied to runway, found fuel leak, returned to terminal for inspection and repairs. Arrived at Chubu customs about the same time as the last boat to Tsu was leaving. All five of my overweight bags appeared on the carousel just before I arrived at baggage claim. Dropped four bags at parcel delivery to avoid hauling 400 pounds of junk around. Walked to Meitetsu train station, bought ticket to Nagoya station, heard clerk say, “train leaves in 1 minute.” Ran onto train, rode to Nagoya, ran to Kintetsu train station and caught last train to Tsu with about three minutes to spare. Arrived late expecting no taxis, but managed to catch the second to last one.
Update: I almost forgot about the weirdness at the coffee shop. We had to bus our table, then when we got to the front of the line we stepped to the side to choose sandwiches and lost our place in line. Halfway through our discussion a worker came over to tell us that they forgot to charge us for two drinks. I’m thinking all of these troubles were necessary to set-up the need to stay calm and trust in God.
I was fascinated by the string of delays and skin-of-the-teeth connections that were strung together like a pretty necklace. I even found time to stop and help some other folks along the way. I highly recommend having friends see you off with prayer.
While this was all going on, I kept thinking of my friend who was being hunted by angels wanting to help get her out of the Bangkok airport the day of the takeover.