It has been almost 48 hours since we left our home to head to Manila. Tomorrow, we visit Chosen Children (a ministry to children in Manila who will likely never be adopted), and then take an overnight bus to Ilocos Norte, the province in which our son currently lives. We will meet him for the first time on Wednesday.
I wanted to write to share about God’s amazing faithfulness on our journey to the Philippines. There are a lot of focuses I suppose I could choose, but this seems the most appropriate. I feel compelled to testify to what God has done, and to share about our journey a bit in the process.
I’ll start early, back when we booked tickets…
Faith and I found out the specific date we’d travel to the Philippines on Wednesday, 9/17. I immediately made the call to United to order plane tickets. I had always assumed that getting tickets to fly here and back would be one of the easy variables, but not so much. I needed tickets for me and Faith, round trip to Manila, then to add Johnny as a one-way from Manila back to Chicago. I also (desperately) wanted seats with more leg room, because I’m not exactly lawn-gnome-small.
Ultimately I would talk to 5 United agents by phone, 2 United agents at the counter, and 3 agents for Philippine air before everything was done, and there is still a couple variables yet unresolved for which I need to call United. So keep praying.
Anyway, it’d take forever for me to relay every detail, but by the time God was done, he had made several crazy pieces of this process possible when they started out impossible. I’ll relay only the most recent one as an example.
We found out early that we could not add John to our itinerary until we actually got to Manila, for reasons no one has ever been able to really explain to me to my satisfaction. So we had to reserve a seat for him on Thursday, fly to Manila on Friday, then confirm and ticket his reservation here when we arrived on Saturday. I waited in line for > 30 minutes to see the Philippine airline agent when we got here (which was after more than a half dozen interactions with all manner of people in the US prior to our travel). Keep in mind I’d been on an airplane or in airports for like 23 hours at that point.
Pretty much her first words were, “We can’t do this”. I remember just praying and telling myself over and over that I would give my fear and frustration to God. So I just kept saying “It has to be possible, what can we do?”, praying that God would work it out, and essentially not leaving until I got what we needed.
After about 20 minutes, we’d moved from “impossible” to “possible for an additional $3500”. That wasn’t going to work. Kept praying. Kept forcing myself not to worry. It was even after closing, and they were turning off lights around us, etc.
After another 20 minutes and a supervisor’s help, we were done. I had the reservation and seat assignments and all for > $100 less than I was told by United it was going to be.
I walked out of there just amazed that God had provided for us in such a way. And He kept us safe, He got all our bags to us right away, all our stuff was in our bags when they got there, we made our connection (which was pretty tight) even after our plane left O’Hare > 1 hour late. Even the laptop going down hasn’t been a total disaster, because there’s a business center at the hotel we can use, and God provided access to contact information and other data we needed for our trip in awesome ways that would take too long to explain.
I guess we have just been learning that God is good.
There are a thousand other things I could talk about, but I’m running out of time. I’ll try to get back on soon.
In the meantime, from Manila…