MARK MAYNARD / AFA
Eighteen hours on three airplanes, another six hours waiting in airports, a battery for a CPAP machine that looks like a homemade bomb and missing my squishy green pillow.
That about sums it up so far.
No matter how much you’re told of the travel weariness, it doesn’t take hold until you’ve experienced it. Amy Compston traveled it last August so she tried to tell us. Now we know.
The Amy For Africa mission team may be ready to DO SOMETHING in Moyo but the journey takes time. It’s slow good.
So are we there yet?
Well, no. We are in Entebbe but have a 12-hour van ride on uncomfortable roads, the kind of roads you may find in backwoods of any of Kentucky’s counties, on Tuesday morning. These roads won’t be paved and the potholes may look big enough to swallow us up.
We also must pass through Kampala, where driving resembles a day at the Dodge ‘Em cars at Camden Park. There are no rules, only confusing turnabouts where nobody takes a turn. It’s defensive driving at its best. Just go, man, go!
Our only issue has been the battery for my CPAP machine that is about six pounds and the size of a small boat battery. It has wires taped down and frankly looks suspect. I didn’t expect to make it through security but did so with only a few questions in Cincinnati.
Upon boarding the flight for Uganda, we went through another security checkpoint and it wasn’t so easy. Our flight from Dallas to London had some delays so our time was tight. The TSA security guard was on his own schedule. My bag was lined up behind several others and we had less than 30 minutes to board.
Amy came over and watched this security guard slowly go through the motions. I thought “Bad Amy” was going to come out. But a nice man from some foreign land told the guard to take our bag ahead of his in a gesture that could only come from one place.
But the security boss had to be called and then he and I had to go to the security office to make sure this battery would be allowed. The rest of the team was ready to board. The security officers gave me the all clear and I rolled up with Chris Compston to applause from the AFA team. I almost spent a night in London without the team since the next flight to Entebbe was Tuesday. If not for the kind gentleman waiting in line who I had quickly befriended, that may have been what would have happened. God provides again.
I didn’t use the CPAP on the flight to London and my travel buddy, Rob Barber, said snoring was at a minimum. I used it on the next flight since it had been so much trouble. The stewardesses thought Darth Vader had made a visit. They were inquisitive about the machine and asked if it was cleared through security. I found that to be a curious (dumb?) question. My only packing regret is leaving behind my green squishy pillow that I sleep with at home every night. It’s one of those pillows with the foam beads inside it and it conforms to almost anything. Next time that comes along!
We met our 12th member, Whitney Saucedo, in Dallas and are starting to get to know her. She lives in Mt. Carmel, Indiana, and was sent with us through Samaritan’s Feet. I know Whitney is going to be a blessing. We are all getting to know each other a little better as the hours roll on, cooped up inside some big airplanes. By the end of two weeks, we will share an amazing story of hope, love and redemption.
So proud to be part of this AFA mission team as we minister to children through 26,316 shoes. We are certain that 316 extra pairs of shoes has something to do with John 3:16. Don’t tell me that’s a coincidence.