It certainly was different experience this time… especially travelling with our 1 year old. Fortunately, Sydney did a pretty good job on the whole trip. She slept when we slept, and we brought a lot of baby food with us so she ate pretty well, too.
Lesa’s sister Katie came with us as well, and was a huge help with Sydney and our 8 suitcases and giant guitar flight case. We were quite a sight at Heathrow trying to ride the tube between terminals carrying all of our stuff and Sydney.
We arrived in XXXXX, Friday evening, and got checked into our hotel room around midnight. The next morning our group toured the medina, and went and visited with some other American workers there who run an college program.
Sunday we taxi’d somewhere in XXXXXX, and met with the youth group for an incredible time of bi-lingual worship. We played songs that were known in both english and arabic, and they sang a lot of songs in arabic, and I played along on the guitar. Afterwards we had lunch and spent the afternoon playing games and hearing their stories. Really amazing stories, every one of them. I remember one girl said she had been following Christ for 3 months, but she wished with all her heart it had been 3 years. She was the only Christian in her city.
The next day I was sick. I spent most of the day in bed or on the toilet, while Lesa went to a hospital ward for abandoned infants. Then she spent the afternoon hanging out with XXXXXX university students, in a relational evangelism setting. We called our XXXXXX friends later that evening, and met them at Carfourre, and they took us up to XXXXXX, then bought us brik (Fried egg pastry), and we hung out at their house until about midnight. This was the most important part of our time in XXXXX, where we could sit and ask questions about how we might get involved, what kinds of work need to be done to soften the ground there, and basically feeling them out for encouragement about coming.
The next day said goodbye to our group (who were staying almost another week), and taxid to the airport to fly back to London. At the airport, Sydney threw up twice, and on the plane to London, maybe 5 times. We knew we were going to land, run to our next flight, and make another overnight flight, so we were praying hard Sydney’s stomach issues would stop quickly! And they did… by the time we landed in London she was fine, praise God!
We got a good chuckle from the flight attendants as they announced the final descent into London, and the arrival on the ground in Arabic. I don’t know much arabic, but a couple phrases: enshallah (God willing), and humdullah (praise God). I could only guess the rest of the flight attendent’s dialog: “Ladies and gentlemen, please fasten your seat belts for our final descent to London Heathrow. We will be landing shortly, God willing!”. “Ladies and gentlemen, we have landed, praise God!”.