|God caused a young man to have mercy on us there at Cathay Pacific Airlines. We sat down at his office as soon as we could get to the international airport. Depees had concern for us and taking our information down, he immediately emailed for ticket changes on the next flight out. Right away he had tentative arrangements subject to clearance from the Hong Kong offices. He said there was not room on the flight for all 7 of us but he would let us know later the final plans. He worked hard during our hotel stay to get us onto the Thursday flight and he even ordered vegetarian meals. I pray that God will bless him for his kindness to us. This ticket change was not usually allowed for we had non refundable tickets. However the problem did not come from our mistake. He kept a copy of our itinerary and the tickets to justify what he was doing to help us. He looked for another carrier to take us to Hong Kong but it cost thousands for 7 of us and we did not have the money. God worked a miracle. Cathay was willing to get us on the Thursday flight waiving fees if we were willing to wait the 4 days.|
|At midnight we had a mini bus take us to the airport to be sure of our departure at 4:45AM. We found a long line. I spotted our friend Depees at the Business check line. I smiled and told him our party of 7 was in line. He quickly made arrangements for us to go immediately to check on luggage. He remembered I had emailed him about my sick boys. The officer resisted our breaking line but was assured it was right. Then he resisted checking our baggage any father than San Francisco. Again Depees came to help. He said after the 9/11 crisis, no more than 3 plane changes were allowed on the baggage tickets. So they made it checked to Seattle. At San Francisco we were to recheck bags on to Spokane.|
|We arrived at the passport check line. Kyle announced he was just about to vomit. I went to a nearby guard and asked if there was a place my boy could lie down for he was about to vomit. He sent us right to the passport officer to go through without waiting. When I did his bidding, the officer told me the rest of the party could go through on their own and only Kyle and I could go on through. After about 5 minutes he realized it was impossible for the children to do their own passport paper work and told all 7 to come on through. Kyle lay on the floor waiting for me to get his papers done. Many times through the airports he would rest like this. It was amazing just 24 hours after his IV therapy that he was even able to go through all this. God provided the strength as needed.|
Finally we were on our way in a 777 on Cathay Pacific. In about 6 hours we were in Hong Kong and waiting for departure then 15 hours later we were in San Francisco. During the 15 hour flight there was a problem for the meal order for vegetarian had not been communicated to this flight crew. The children had finally started eating after 2 days of not eating. I could not bear the thought of another day of hunger. I mentioned my plight to the stewardess. She personally went without her pasta meal so the children could eat and encouraged others to do the same. God provided pasta which was enjoyed by the children. Jenny was so impressed with the unselfishness that she wrote thank you notes and gave many special smiles of thanks. She wanted her picture taken with this unselfish lady.
Customs Line Obstacle
Finally we were on our way. In about 6 hours we were in Hong Kong and waiting for departure then 15 hours later we were in San Francisco. AS we left the plane we were shocked to see an enormous line for customs. We were informed the computers were down and all would miss their flights. It would take over 4 hours before we could clear. There was nothing they could do. They refused to do anything without computer scanning of passports. I decided to take a picture and count how many were in line ahead of us. I began to despair at the thought of our tickets already rerouted one time. Would we have mercy the second time? We prayed for God to help us. The security guard said that it would take at least one minute on each person ahead of us. I counted over 1,000 people. I saw there were 35 gates. It looked impossible for we had to gather our bags, clear customs, recheck our bags with the hassle of changing destination tags on all of them.
|Again and again God heard our prayers as we stood in line. Suddenly the line was moving. People were walking so fast in line they were almost running. We cleared in record time and scurried towards our United flight. We could not just throw our bags back on the belt for we had ticket problems to fix.|
|We stood there at the United desk hearing all sorts of discouraging things. They protested our change and said it was not right that we had not been charged $100. fees each person for each change. Then after we prayed silently, he spoke kindly and said we had been through enough. He asked for our itinerary and papers from email correspondence from the Air Force agent and he made copies. After what seemed like forever, the new tickets were printed and bags had tags made for them showing they were supposed to go to Spokane. We hurried on to our departure gate to learn boarding was in 20 minutes. God cleared us in enough time to catch our flights. We were so thankful. Praise His wonderful marvelous name. I wonder if the angels helped get the computers back up and running. Did they have something to do with the time it took to get on to our flight?|
|We admired Mt. Ranier as we neared Seattle. Just one more flight and we would be home. We had to wait for 4 hours for our flight and our last miracle.|
Another Projector Miracle
As we began to board, unknown to me, they took the expensive projector from Lloyd and put it in the belly of the plane. When I was seated, Lloyd handed me the claim ticket. I was worried for the safety of God's projector. I complained and the stewardess directed me to the ground crew. I told them there was an important projector placed in the belly of the plane, and would they please make sure nothing is on top of it. They had a frantic look. They disappeared and I watched as bag after bag was pulled out of the plane. They brought it to the door of the plane and insisted that electronics of this nature were not allowed in the belly of the plane. The stewardess said there was no room and they shoved it inside anyway. The stewardess insisted we buy another seat on the plane just for the projector. I showed her that the side pocket zipped off and it fit in the overhead bin. It was small enough. We had fit it in many planes up to that point but this was the smallest plane. It slipped right into the overhead without any problem. Again God overruled and HIS equipment was kept from crushing and jolting injuries which happen as luggage crashes down the ramp onto the delivery belt.
|We were met by friends at the airport with nice vans to take us home. Rhianna Watson had a nice white van and Norma Herzer had borrowed a blue van. We fit in nicely. Barbara and Shalise had a nice greeting from Ted and Shawn. We arrived home by 12:30 on May 31. We praised God for all HIS traveling mercies. On the table Ron had a huge pile of our favorite foods. He also had a bag of gifts for each one. He was 165 miles away working the Omak Hospital emergency room. Because our scheduled flights were delayed he had an unavoidable schedule conflict and could not be there to greet us. God blessed us with willing friends to help us in this last need.|
Our journey home on May 31was not bad. We are thankful we are home. We were tired, hungry and yet alive. Thanks be to GOD.
Our pastor greeted us warmly. People were at the airport to receive us and get us home by May 31 1:AM. Just a few hours later there were warnings for all Americans to leave India for the danger of war. God helped us home before all the seats were taken by others trying to get on flights.
At midnight we took the bus to the airport and caught the early flight.
The next problem was worked out by the travel agent at the United States Air Force base. United flights were all lined up to connect with Cathay Pacific. This is a miracle for getting 7 people onto the same airplane usually takes booking 3 weeks ahead. The rest of the miracle involved the fact that it usually costs 100 dollars per connecting flight change. We were looking at 1,400 dollars just for United. God worked it out free.