Well, after 17 hours of travel we finally arrived in Ukraine around 5:30 (Ukrainian time). It's now 10:30pm here and we've been up for 33 hours with a cat nap here or there, so this post will be brief. (It just took my fatigued brain 5 minutes to calculate how many hours I've been awake) We didn't want to go to bed tonight without leaving a post to let everyone know we are here safe and sound. We have much to praise God for as we head to bed.
1. First of all, God waived the $285 baggage fee the airline was going to charge us for our extra bag! We didn't think it was going to happen as the check-in agent didn't think he could do it with out a waiver code and after a long phone call with customer service, they said they couldn't give us one. But the clerk asked a manager on duty and she gave him one, so we were cleared! When we arrived in Paris, we had to go through security again and get our tickets issued for Kiev. The agent couldn't understand why we had 7 bags and how it was possible that there was a waiver code on the charge, but allowed us to continue on with no fee.
2. When we arrived at JFK somehow we got directed to the wrong gate for our flight to Paris. As we sat there for over an hour we wondered why the plane hadn't started boarding yet. We figured the plane was late. Just then we heard our names announced overhead telling us this was our final boarding call. We sprinted through the airport with our carry-ons...and unbeknownst to me, mine was half open and stuff was flying out! We made it to the gate by the skin of our teeth and some kind person ran after me to return my fleece that had fallen out. It was several minutes before my heart settled down to a regular beat again! Praise God we made it in time!
3. At breakfast (or was that lunch?? my internal clock said 6am and the clock at the airport said noon) the cashier almost overcharged us. We would never have known, but he rerang the order for the correct price.
4. Our flight to Kiev was not full so Jim and I had a row to ourselves and room to stretch out a little.
5. We are happily settled in a little apartment here, finally got some dinner at a quaint café around the corner and we're headed to bed soon.
Tomorrow morning we have our appointment at 11am. We have not spoken to our facilitators at all since we arrived. We were picked up at the airport by one facilitator's wife. As we look at the mountain we face tomorrow, humanly it seems insurmountable. There is not a lot of hope at this point that anything can be done to grant us a referral. Our hope is in God alone. He can move this mountain if He chooses. We continue to ask Him to do that, but also to help us trust Him to work out His perfect plan.
As my heart fluctuates between fear and trust I am reminded of Isaiah 41:10, "Fear not for I am with you, be not dismayed for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."
Good night everyone! Tomorrow is the big day!