Sunday, December 1, 2013

Our "Timely" Trip Back to Kinshasa

After much thought and prayer, Ed announced he was going to return to the Congo, to continue serving our mission. He told me that I would need to decide for myself when I was ready to leave Tiffany. I told him I was ready to go back with him. He said that for some reason, he felt it was important for us to leave the day after the Blizzard 10K that he was scheduled to run with Tiffany, which was October 25. We knew we wanted to spend a few days with our four East coast children and their families, but we knew we wanted to be back in the Congo by the end of the month.

We discussed it with Tiffany.  She was so sweet and said "I am never going to be ready... but I know you need to go back... and I need the blessings that will be the result of your returning to the Congo." 

We spent 4 days at a lake house with all 4 East coast families and Grandpa. Then we went straight to the Raleigh airport and flew to JFK in New York. We fly stand-by, but we made it on the next flight out of New York to Paris. We had about 24 hours in Paris, which was just enough time to get some good rest… and take the train into one of my favorite cities in the world.

We discovered there were 2 very important reasons for us to get back when we did.

(1) When we were going through security in Paris, to catch our Kinshasa flight… the Customs officials stopped us and said that we wouldn’t be able to get on the flight. They looked at our Congolese Visas, which were good for 6 months. They were issued on April 24th. We had missed the deadline by a week. Then another official looked at the Visas and asked if we had a stamp of what day we had actually entered the Congo. We found the stamp in our passports, which were dated May 7, 2013. The customs officials said they would go by the stamped date and they let us into the gates. They said if we had been a week later, they would have turned us away. It takes about 3 months to get a new Visa. Whew! I am thankful my good husband listened to the promptings and said, “We need to get to the Congo by the end of the month.”

We made the flight from Paris to Kinshasa… and arrived “Home” on October 31st. (2)  Upon our arrival at the airport, we received a call from the mission home and we were told that the husband of the office couple had just had a stroke and that they were going to be sent home immediately. They asked if I could please come in the next morning and help them get through transfers, and then help train the new couple. I was really needed in the office the day we returned.

Thanks Tiff for your encouragement.  Again… We were grateful to be in the right place at the right time.

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