Wow, the weeks flew by way to fast! Last Wednesday, January 3rd found us leaving West Plains at 8:00 with luggage and our sweet girl for the airport. Emotions were high but we were so excited for Abigail and this amazing experience.
A tradition we started was going to the Waffle and Pancake House in Ozark before she left on her trips. So we headed to have bruch before she left. This gives us a chance to sit down and relax and enjoy each other before she leaves.
We then headed or the airport. My Daddy met us there to watch her take off. We checked her in for her first solo flight ever. Things went smoothly and then off to say our goodbye’s. It was hard to say them knowing that she would be gone longer but excited to know she was following God’s plan.
After going through the TSA, she turned around and gave us that ok smile we had gotten used to and then a big wave!!! All four of us stood watching her disappear, then off to the waiting room for her plane to get ready to go.
Milton has had a hard time letting her go this time, which makes it harder on us. We had only been in the waiting area when she wrote that they had taken her carry on luggage from her. She did talk them into letting her take her guitar but most things were packed into
her carry on suitcase, including her phone charger.
When she went to France we did a live event of her plane taking off and we did the same with this trip. It was fun to see different family and friends watch her leave. It is posted on her mission page.
As she got to Chicago she texted me that her battery was dying and her charger was in her luggage, so she wouldn’t be able to contact me until she got to Tel Aviv. I knew that would be a long time for me. I’m so thankful for the flight app where you can watch the planes take off and land and know where they are. We have always watched them, but this time I relied on it since I didn’t have contact with her.
Unknown to us Paris became a nightmare for her. They had a 5 hour lay over and she had looked forward to eating some of the pastries that she had enjoyed in October. Alas, that wasn’t to be. Instead she spent her 5 hours in an interrogation room being bombed with all sorts of questions. “Why was she going to Israel”; “What was she going to do while there”; “Was she a Jew”; “Why did her parents name her a Hebrew name”; “She must be Jewish because she had red hair and her parents named her a Jewish name”… She barely made the plane. But God gave her the strength to keep her head and make it through it all even though inside she was struggling.
She landed in Tel Aviv Thursday morning our time at 8:45 (5:30 pm Israel time). But I still didn’t hear from her. Finally at 12:30 pm our time I heard from Helen (WMA director) that she was there but she didn’t have any of her luggage. The long wait continued. Finally, at 1:31 pm our time (9:30 pm her time) she contacted me saying she was in Qiryat Shemona and was ok, just lost because she didn’t have clothes or anything else to her name.
Her talking to me and letting me know she was fine was the best early birthday gift I could imagine. Saturday she had an amazing day touring with the team and some of the church. They took her to the Sea of Galilee (in her words “it isn’t a real sea more like a lake since the water has been evaporating through the years.”) Then they saw what they think is Peter’s home, the Church of the Loaves and Fishes and then the Mt. of Beatitudes (“it was so beautiful!”). You can see her pictures on her mission page. It was so fun to get to hear about the different places and “see” them through her eyes.
Yesterday, Sunday, was her first day at work. We talked by text after she got off work and had dinner with Pastor Adil’s family. She expressed worry about what to do about getting her luggage so Michael hopped on the phone and started making calls to trace down her missing luggage. He found out that they had gotten goofed up in Paris and finally arrived in Tel Aviv yesterday. She should have them when she gets home from work tonight. While we working on getting her belongings back, we had her call us on the online video and it was so fun talking to her and getting to see her!! Milton loved it, too!!
Because Milton is struggling with her gone longer, I made him a special count down calendar. It has different pictures of her on each day. He chose some special stickers that he knew “she would like” Now he is excited because he knows she isn’t gone forever.
Some have asked what her job with the kids is. She is working at two different daycares with 0-3 age kids. Her main responsibility is to entertain them and teach them English. I asked her how it went and she said, “Great and got to play the whole time.”
God gave us peace before she even decided to go and He has continued to give us peace. Yes, we miss her and wish she hadn’t had to go through all she did, but God helped her through each step of the way. He also has shown her that He is with her all the way.
So proud of the young lady, Abigail has become and how she relies on the Lord. We look forward to this part of the journey with her. She is actually walking where Jesus walked and working with HIS chosen people.
So thankful to be a TMM. of an awesome young lady.
- Breakfast items
- Travel expenses (while there)
- Personal supplies
- Misc. expenses that come up