Romans 12:12 ” Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”
One piece of advice we were given when planning the trip to Brazil was that “mission trips are all about
flexibility” this could not have been more accurate. On the way to the Orlando airport, our first flight
from Orlando to Miami was delayed due to weather which meant we would miss our flight from Miami
to Sao Paulo since there was only a 1-hour layover. After much discussion with the American Airlines personnel at the baggage drop-off, we decided to go ahead and fly into Miami. Another flight was leaving at 10:55 pm from Miami which showed it was full but we could be put on standby. We were able to make it on the 10:55 pm flight, which would still allow us to make our connecting flight in Sao Paulo. Everything seemed to be falling into place. We boarded the plane, found our seats and waited for take off. We sat on the tarmac past our 10:55 push-off, the captain then came over the intercom and informed us that there was a communication problem with the GPS on the aircraft, and they called someone to fix it. We didn’t leave Miami for Sao Paulo until around 1:30 am. When we finally arrived in Sao Paulo, the airline informed us there were no flights that day, so they arranged a hotel for us near the airport for a flight leaving the following afternoon. We were stuck in Sao Paulo.
Being stuck in a foreign country, especially one where you don’t know the language is not ideal. Instead of focusing on ruined plans, we focused on the blessings. One blessing was my brother-in-law, Marcos, came with us on the trip. He is from Brazil and, more specifically, from Sao Paulo. He knew the language and the area. Secondly, the airline gave us a taxi, hotel, and food vouchers. If you have ever dealt with airlines, you know it was a blessing in and of itself. Lastly, we were exhausted physically and emotionally from a stressful day of delays. Staying overnight in Sao Paulo allowed us to rest before making it to our final destination.
We would have a few more hiccups on our trip, but God was faithful and saw us through them. Before leaving my husband, Daniel prepared a devotional. One of the verses was Romans 12:12 “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” Flexibility is rooted in patience. It’s easy to get mad about ruined plans, but things happen that are out of our control. We made it safely to Sao Luis, well rested and ready to serve. We completed many of the camp projects and interacted with some members of the local churches. We were grateful to be able to serve and be used by God in the way He wanted us to.