Hi Everyone! Two main items of interest today . . .
I apologize for the lack of updates on my blog recently; we are still in transition and have barely had internet access these last weeks. (Note to self: wow, wireless is super convenient! We are going to have to invest in that!) We finished our meetings and have moved to a lovely hotel in Bangkok for a few days of "decompress" time before we take that long journey--tomorrow! Tomorrow morning at abou 1:30am our alarm will ring so that we can pack up and check out of the hotel by 2am, be on the road by 2:30, and arrive at the airport around 3am. Then we'll claim our left luggage that we have been storing there since coming into the country almost a month ago, check in at our airline, go through security and customs, find our gate, and sit down to wait for our 6am flight. It's a large plane, going first through Tokyo and then on to Minneapolis, so I anticipate some long lines in check-in. From Minneapolis we'll take a quick flight to Sioux Falls, South Dakota, which is just 45 minutes away from my parent's home in northwest Iowa. According to my mom, they are in the midst of some wild winter weather, so we will be moving from the tropics to heavy snowfall!
We almost didn't get on this flight. On Friday night, when we arrived in BKK, we tried to access the internet in our hotel. The connection was slow and we couldn't download our emails, but John did manage to get on the Northwest site to check our reservation. He found our names, but it said "there are no flights in this account." Thinking that couldn't be right, he then called Northwest to confirm, and found that our tickets (purchased through a travel agent 3 months ago) had been cancelled! YIKES! What to do!!! We called on some of our colleages that live and work in this country and they were able to assist us, thankfully. Also thankfully, there were still seats on the flight so they were able to rebook tickets for us. So though it's been a bit stressful the last few days, we are thankful that everything worked out, that John had called so early to reconfirm, and that the problem was found and thus able to be fixed. PTL for watching over us!
Please pr for our long travel day! I have lots of snacks and fun things planned to do for the girls, but I am really hoping they will sleep a lot. We will arrive in the US in the middle of the afternoon, 22 hours later on our body clocks. We are looking forward to that arrival moment!
The other main item for prayer is that my dad had a heart attack over the weekend. Because of our internet difficulties, we didn't know until several days later, and thankfully he was much improved by that point. He didn't feel well over the weekend and was experiencing some chest pain, so on Monday morning he went in to the doctor and they found that one of his coronary arteries was almost 100% blocked. He was taken to a heart hospital and they performed an angioplasty; from what I know now he is doing all right--able to get up and around a bit, though not so much energy. He is still in the hospital and may still be when we arrive back at my parent's home; I'm just not sure. This was rather a shock to us since my dad has always been so healthy and still plays basketball with a group of guys--he played just last week! But we are thankful--thankful that he went to the doctor in time, thankful for the medical technology that was able to help his heart, and thankful to the Lord for sparing his life. I am also SO thankful that the Lord arranged the timing since we are on are way there and can be with Mom and Dad right now. But please pr for my dad, Jim, as he recovers. Pray for his heart, in all ways, that he will be physically, emotionally, and spiritually strengthened right now. And pray for my mom--she still has some lingering effects from her health difficulties last fall, mostly in her balance and coordination. It's a challenging time for our family ut we know that the Lord will be faithful to meet all of our needs! He is a gracious and loving Heavenly Father!
Well, this all certainly puts things in perspective. Our times are in His hands--what a reminder to make the most of our days, living for Him! Clara Anne would like to make the most of this morning by going swimming one last time, so it's time for me to sign off. Thanks for all of your prayers! Next time I post, we'll be in the States, Lord willing! See you on the other side!