IT ALL CAME BACK TO ME…
Why I hate long plane rides. Sitting in the Lufthansa jet at the back of the plane (row 59), jammed tightly between two people (one of which was a six foot two guy who loves food) and a mere foot from the monitor screen on the back of the seat in front of me, I experienced a strange new sensation: claustrophobia. The space for eight long hours was so small that I couldn’t lean down and pick anything up off the floor if I dropped it and there was no possible way to sit comfortably. Add to that a two-year-old just a few rows ahead of us that screamed six of those eight hours and you can picture what I mean. A miserable way to get from Charlotte to Munich, but hey, at least it worked. We were late arriving and almost missed our connecting flight to Oslo. But getting on the smaller jet sent me into a kind of euphoria since the seat space was exponentially larger. I felt I could breathe again. Sadly, our checked bags didn’t make it on the flight with us. So after another very long walk through the Oslo airport (my feet are not happy with airports, especially the one at Munich) we had to stand in a very slow line (all the clerks typed with one finger) to report our lost baggage to the airline before we could go through customs and meet the man who had kindly driven to the airport to pick us up.
BUT THIS FIRST REPORT IS NOT AS NEGATIVE AS YOU MAY THINK.
We had our first evangelistic witness on our connecting flight. A nice Norwegian man was happy to share with us about his new girlfriend that he met on the Internet (no, her name is not Lafonda) – and how he was just returning from Hong Kong after visiting her for 10 days. His flight schedule was nightmarish compared to ours! We got to ask him lots of questions about his country and share what we were doing here. Like most urban Europeans, he has decided he doesn’t believe in Jesus Christ or religion of any kind. We did what we could to dispel some of his misconceptions and to offer some things for him to consider about why we believe in Him. We parted on good terms and I felt it was the first of hopefully many more divine appointments.
I’ve even seen some miracles on this trip already. Now, they aren’t the kind that would qualify for sainthood in the Catholic church, but I can see God’s gracious hand upon us in answer to the prayers of many of our Christian brothers and sisters … like being tranquil in the face of many frustrations and setbacks and the inevitable jet lag. Also, Tony and I both slept for two solid hours this afternoon without a single sound in the room (no fan or noise machine that we’ve grown so accustomed to) because our electrical adaptors were put in – you guessed it – one of the checked bags that didn’t arrive with us. J Small mercies, I know, but when you’re exhausted, they speak volumes about our Father’s love for us.
Our Norwegian friend Johannes, who picked us upat the airport, took us on a quick tour of the area (that looks amazingly like Canada), fed us some lunch of breads, jam, cheese, and a boiled egg, and helped us get settled in a room at the college where he teaches (see photos). Tony will be teaching a class here in a couple of weeks, but they let us stay for one night, since it’s close to Oslo, to rest up before we go to Tonsberg (Smyrna Bible Institute).
Thanks for the prayers and best wishes you are sending our way… I feel such peace and joy in being here with Tony. The adventure with God begins … now that the nasty plane ride is behind us.