We began Sunday morning by packing all of our possessions into 8 suitcases. As we crammed our stuff into each bag, some family members looked at our 9 pieces of luggage and said, “that’s too much,” while others looked on and said, “Wow! I can’t believe you downsized an entire house down to that.” The whole time I am trying hard to hide my level of stress and sheer panic about how we are going to be able to move around the airport with so many suitcases, not to mention our 8 pieces of carry-ons, knowing full well that I will be the one carrying most these bags. How is this going work?
We finished packing and headed down to Detroit where we were spending the night so that we could have an easier trip to the airport Monday morning. I laid in the full size bed with Ashlynn in the middle, Deana on the right, and me hanging off the edge of the left side. It didn’t matter because there was no way I was going to be able to sleep knowing the challenges that Monday would bring. I laid in bed and prayed that God would make our travel just as smooth as He has already made our journey this far, and once again proving to this man of weak faith, that He is in control and blesses people who set out to do God’s work.
Monday morning comes very quickly, and the nerves are at their peak, and then the Almighty steps in and shows me again that He is King. As soon as we pull up to the departure, a kind lady brings a large cart, loads up our luggage, and takes our things to the front of the line. She then takes our passports and checks us in. She then escorts us to the front of the baggage line and we find out that nearly all of our bags are over the weight and we will be charged an overage fee. As I am watching bag after bag get put on the scale, Deana is approached by a lady that sees our luggage and starts asking questions. She then asks to pray for our family and our journey. As soon as they finish praying, the baggage lady finishes and decides that she doesn’t want to charge us any baggage fees. Everything was free, and she warned us that when we get to Los Angeles and pick up our bags, Southern China would probably not be so generous. Instead of praising God for showing us His grace, I begin to panic about having to do this luggage thing again.
We arrive in Los Angeles, the flight was smooth, comfortable, and the family is doing great so far. We were unfamiliar with China Southern Airline and what to expect, and so I called them to talk about check-in procedures and baggage check-in. Once again God was looking out for us. As I was talking to the gentleman on the phone, I mentioned that we had about 6 bags a little over 50lbs. He told me the total amount for baggage overage would be over $900. My stomach dropped and the panic set in. As we began to discuss it, we realized that God was looking out for us with our layover in LA and we had all of our bags with us. We went to the CVS down the street, bought a $10 scale, and went to work balancing the weight and getting the bags under 50lbs. We managed to get all but one box under 50 lbs, and so now we would only have to pay for 2 bags, one over 50lbs, and the other was my guitar(9th piece of luggage). God blessed us even more. Once we got to the airport the baggage man used the 60lb box as both the overage and the extra piece of luggage, and so we only had to pay for 1 bag. Praise God!
Our 16 hour Flight to China was smooth, the girls slept most of the way, food was good, and the movies were great entertainment. Once we arrived in China we had another layover for 12 hours, but with the excitement of being so close to our final destination, the time seemed to fly by.
The sky was beautiful all day in China, and we finally got to board for Penang. As soon as we sat down it started to pour down. We are talking flood type raining. I was relaxed because I thought we would just sit through it and then take off. Wrong! We proceeded to prepare for take off, and my nerves were at their peak. I looked over and could see Deana with her eyes closed, praying, and I immediately calmed down and started doing the same. The take off was the smoothest ride we had yet, and once again we gave God praise.
We finally made it to Penang, and it is amazing to have that feeling that when you set foot into your new apartment for the first time, but it feels like home and that you have lived there for years all because you know you are following in God’s plan. Penang is the most beautiful place that I have ever been to in the world, and I can’t believe that this is where God has chosen us to live. I don’t feel like we deserve His grace, but does anyone? He is good, and all we can do is live to serve and accept His gifts for us.
Thank You God