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7/29/2012 (Sunday)

3:30 am.  Today is the day of travel home.  Jane will be meeting me at 4 am to take me to the airport.  My flight leaves at 6:30 and the way this airport works it takes almost 2 hours to get checked in, go through immigration, and get to the gate.  I fly to Miami and then to Dallas/Fort Worth and then on to Fort Wayne arriving tonight in Fort Wayne about 10:30 pm.  This morning I awoke an hour before the alarm and could not go back to sleep.  After about 10 minutes of tossing around and my mind going over some changes I wanted to do with packing my bags, I decided to get up, finish the packing and then get ready for the day.  I was able to make the changes in the packing so I could pack my carry-on suitcase in the one duffle.  This way all I have with me is my backpack and that will make it much easier for the long walks in Miami and Dallas/Fort Worth.  My one hard-sided suitcase was damaged on the way here and one of the wheels is broken.  Thus, instead of rolling along easily I now have to carry it.  I wanted to lighten it so I could carry it easier.  So now my suitcase weighs about 40 pounds and the duffle weighs about 35 pounds.  This will make them both easy to handle here in Quito as I can have one in each hand and not have to deal with a carry-on as well.

I must say the warm shower this morning was a delight.  I didn’t have to deep breathe at all!  Also, I am not having the altitude headache as much and that is nice as well.

Father, I thank You for being here and for all You have done this past week.  Thank You for the safe travel to Quito and for the restful sleep.  Thank You for the opportunity to come here and to work with Jane.  Thank You for Jane and her commitment to be Your servant in San Lorenzo.  Thank You for Damarys who is also committed to Jane’s ministry and is a great support for her.  Thank You for Loida who, like Damarys, is committed to the ministry and takes care of all the little details to keep her mission organization functioning well.  Thank You for Angelita and Maria Luisa whose hearts are tuned to sharing Your message of love and salvation with anyone they meet.  They are so helpful to Jane.  Thank You for Carmen for her work behind the scenes to make sure the clinic functions well.  Thank You for Gonzalo who also keeps the clinic working.  Lord, You have assembled a fantastic team to carry out Your ministry in San Lorenzo.  Thank You for that.  I feel privileged to be a part of that service.  Thank You, Lord.  Father, I pray for safe travel today.  It is all in Your hands.  Thank You, Lord.  Amen.

6:30 am.  We are ready to depart from Quito.  My check-in process went smoothly and I was at the gate within 30 minutes of arriving to the airport.  This is the fastest check-in I have ever experienced at Quito.  Usually one needs the full two hours to get through all the steps.

2:30 pm.  The flight from Quito to Miami went very smooth.  I then went through customs and went to return my luggage for the connecting flight.  I pulled up to the area to drop off the luggage and the lady standing there rattled something off in Spanish to me and kept pointing to another area.  I don’t know why she was speaking to me in Spanish.  I went to where she was pointing and it took me to the outside if I would have gone through the doors.  I came back and asked another person taking connecting flight luggage and she told me just to leave my bags there and they would be taken care of.  So I did and went on through the security screening and on to my gate for the next flight to Dallas/Fort Worth.

Interesting storm cloud in the distance from my side of the plane

A large ship in the water seen from 34,000 feet

A coastal area on one of the islands we crossed over.

Islands amidst the beautiful green water

Another view of an island enroute to Miami

This was over Cuba, I believe. There is a bay with a city at the end of the bay.

A little rain shower

Another storm cloud in the distance

Our flight to DFW was to leave by 1:35 and at 1:20 we were still waiting to start the boarding process.  Then the agent told everyone that the plane we were to board was must placed out of service.  He told the crowd to stay where we were for the moment.  A few minutes later he announced that we were being moved to another gate to board another plane to go to DFW.  So we went there and finally boarded ready to leave by 2:30 pm.  Our flight to DFW is 2 ½ hours and my layover time in DFW was going to be almost 4 hours so I should be able to connect to the final leg of the flight to Fort Wayne without any problem.

5:00 pm.  The flight to DFW went smooth.  I enjoyed watching out the window as the sky was fairly clear and I could see detail on the ground.  It was interesting as we flew from Miami across the state and I could see the Gulf coast and the area where Phyllis and I spend our winters away from the snow.  We flew right over the city of Englewood and I could see our neighborhood clearly from 34,000 feet in the air.  We flew across the Gulf of Mexico and then over land in southern Mississippi and I could see the city of New Orleans, Lake Pontchartrain, and the Mississippi River.  I could even see barges moving on the river.  Even from the six plus miles up, the detail was remarkable.

Lake Pontchartrain

 

Mississippi River

 

Zooming in on the Mighty Mississippi

 

Barge traffic on the Mississippi

 

The river is wide!

 

Barges seen from 34,000 feet

9:00 pm.  Everything was going as scheduled for the final leg to Fort Wayne.  However, one glitch occurred causing us to change the gate and change the plane for the flight.  That delayed our departure time for over an hour.  Then as we boarded the plane and ready to depart at 8:40 pm the pilot announced that there was one small issue that he needed maintenance to check before backing away from the gate.  He said it would take about 5 minutes and then we would be underway.  We sat in the plane for a short while and then the pilot shut down both jet engines.  He then started one and it fired back up and was running smooth.  When he started the second one it make an unusually loud noise like something was loose and rattling loudly.  He shut this engine down and then announced that this little issue was a bigger problem than anticipated and this plane was placed out of service.  So we had to deplane and wait until another plane could be obtained to fly us to Fort Wayne.

10:00 pm.  We waited at now another gate for about an hour and now will be heading to Fort Wayne.  Flight time is 2 hours 15 minutes which means arriving after midnight.  I called Phyllis to update her on the problems and to let her know we were on the plane and should be departing soon.  That way she can judge when the plane will be landing and plan to meet me at the curb outside of the baggage claim area.

2:00 am (Monday).  Our flight to Fort Wayne was very smooth and the sky was clear allowing me to see all the lights of cities as we travelled from Dallas north to Fort Wayne.  We landed at 12:15 am and when the luggage was off loaded one of my suitcases was missing.  I had to wait until the process was complete and then had to go talk with a representative from American Airlines to search for my lost luggage.  He was able to take the ticket number of the luggage tag and traced that particular piece to Chicago.  I was surprised and said I didn’t travel through Chicago.  He said that this piece was left behind in Dallas when the luggage transfers had taken place from one plane to another there.  American then sent that suitcase to Chicago on another flight hoping that it would beat me to Fort Wayne.  However, there were no flights late in the evening from Chicago so the luggage would be sent on the first flight from Chicago to Fort Wayne in the morning and it would be delivered to my door after it arrived.  At this point sleep was the highest on my priority list and it was wonderful to have Phyllis at my side and my arms around her as we both drifted off to sleep.

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Comments»

1. Tom Beckner - July 29, 2012

Marv:

I got behind reading your entries this week. It was busy at work, and spent most of the after-work hours preparing sermon I preached this morning in one of our facilities. This afternoon, I read the remaining posts, and just wanted to tell you how much I was blessed by your recounting of these activities. What a gracious God we have–to use you, Jane, and the team there for His glory. You guys are all my heros!

Blessings.

Tom


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