I did get those times worked out...but more on that in a minute...
We said our goodbyes this afternoon at church when we dropped off Mitch. It was fun watching the team pack and repack each suitcase as one team member would stand on a scale holding a bag to make sure it was under the weight limit. Understand--most of what they are taking over are gifts and supplies. Their own luggage had to fit into a very small amount of space. Coming back they will likely have empty bags.
Mitch was reading his handbook last night and shared some cool tidbits of info about the culture there. Did you know that it is common to spend two months' salary on one meal for the guests? It's also common for the guests to go to the leaders of the city to present gifts (plus gifts for their hosts, gifts for church members, gifts from previous team members to friends, and so on). There were some weird superstitions too...but my brain is not working well right now to remember them.
I handled the goodbyes ok, but I am having mingled moments of sadness. Let's just say a couple Hershey's have been my close friends this evening (broke into the s'mores stash). It would just be perfect justice that I had to back up what I say I believe by believing it myself--the kids asked me repeatedly, "Could Daddy die?" or as Micah said, "Is he at a greater risk of dying?" Which led me to give him the "statistics do not predict the future" speech. So I lightly answered their questions with "God is in control." God is sovereign.
But do I really believe what I say? Do I really trust God with Mitch's life? With our lives? Will we be ok no matter what happens? How easy it is to fear in a time like this, when Mitch is thousands of miles in the air over the Atlantic Ocean! Do you know that feeling in the back of your throat when you are ready to just rip open in tears but you hold it back? That raw feeling? That's where God just needs to get you some times. It's there where He can finally get your attention, to touch you and speak to you. That's what happened to me today. It's wonderful to bow at His feet, to lay down my fears, to take on an eternal perspective. To trust, remember, and refresh.
Ok, so after my mini-sermon, back to the time thing. Mitch's current flight was delayed due to "unscheduled maintenance". It got off the ground sometime after 8:30 pm, and is expected to arrive in Amsterdam at 12:20 pm (their time, which is 5:20 am our time). Good thing, that's only 30 min before their next flight leaves for Kiev (so much for the 2-hour layover). If that flight is on time, they'll arrive, very tired, in Kiev at 4:35 pm, which is 8:30 am our time. I think if they fail to get much sleep on the plane through the night, they'll probably do ok with getting to sleep as night falls in Kiev...hopefully that will help with jet lag (ohhhhh, but imagine coming home--hopefully I can tell some funny stories)!