All of us have spent days in a manner we did not plan on or wish for. How often have we remembered to say Thank You throughout those days?
When things do not work out as we hope how do we cope? I would like to be able to say for myself “I thank God throughout those unplanned, unpredictable, difficult days and for the exact way it turned out.” I, however, cannot say that as I know that I do not always do so, nor as quickly as I should.
Recently when Ti Luc and I were returning from a short medical trip to Canada we had one ‘of those days’. It was draining but turned out well and for which I was very thankful. We were scheduled to leave Calgary on a Monday and arrive back on Tuesday.
Awakened early Monday morning – Email from airline company. ‘Travel Alert’ – Go online – check flight status. Flight changed. Leaving 5 hours later than booked.
Thoughts – Relax, visit with family. No packing needed yet. An extra five hours.
Three hours later. Another email from airline company. Check-in on line. Okay. Confusion quickly arrives – discover still leaving at 1:00 pm – not 6:00. Almost out of time to make it to airport. Run, rush, run, rush. Lots of help from family. Things thrown into suitcases, into vehicle. Rush to airport. Airline personnel have no idea why first email was sent 6:00 am. Phone confirms it came. Thank you God second email did arrive with truth of leaving on scheduled flight.
Made it – complete with son, luggage, wheelchair and all. Still had a flight and seats. Thank you God.
Arrive Montreal midnight. To fly out again – 9:30 am. Not willing to leave airport in dark and cold with Ti Luc. Need sleep for boy and self. Find quiet place in airport; lie down on floor. Son cannot sleep; Mama can’t stay awake. Drift off – hear “Madam , Madam, Madam.”
Eyes open – airport security “Get up please, take belongings and son; move down to Departure Level.” Thank you God not sent outside in cold.
Wide awake now. 2:30 am. No books, tell son stories. Stay awake. Freshen up. 5:00 am look for tea for Mama and food for son.
Son has disability. Boarded us 8:00 am. Airline wanted flight to leave on time 9:30. Plane moved out on runway. Freezing rain problem. Sit. Wait. Sit. Wait. Wait. Wait. Wait. WAIT. Five and a half hours later – still sitting on runway. Plane de-iced and take off – almost 6 hours late. Thank you God we still get to go.
Flight good. Arrive Port au Prince. Both suitcases arrive. Thank you God.
Into vehicle with Luckner and security. Quite late – dark. Thank you God we will be home in a couple of hours. Not!!!
Head home. Rain starts. Half way home need to pull out and pass large and long truck (trailer truck) on side of road. Bang. Tire blew. Lost control of truck. Slid into trailer truck. Thank you God other truck was there. Kept our truck from going into ditch and likely rolling and hitting a huge cement electricity pole. No injuries. Damage to truck can be fixed. Thank you God for protection.
Rain increases. Now heavy rain. Two men in parked trailer truck come to help. Four men in rain. Remove spare tire underneath truck. Oops spare not great – lacking air. Put on anyway to limp to town nearby. No limping possible. Tire completely flat when jack removed. Bigger oops.
Rain heavier – tire removed again. Vehicle stops. Someone who knows Luckner. Takes him and tire to St. Marc. Security stays to protect Karen and Ti Luc.
Someone in St. Marc awakened – emergency – tire needs to be repaired. Obliged. Tire repaired. Return with tire. Fixed but not great. Put on truck. Head home once more. Thank you God.
Arrival at HATS Mission approx 1:15 am, instead of expected arrival of 5:30 pm. Thank you, thank you God – for safety all along the route.
Our drive home from the airport quite late – in Haiti – in the dark and rain – with a tire blowing – really could have turned out much differently. Thank you God.
Our HATS children sometimes ask for things they cannot have, show they are not happy about being turned down, and complain about certain things in their lives or not in their lives. They are children.
When they do we quickly remind them of how very much they do have. We ask them to thank God for all the positives in their lives and to remember how they have been blessed. When they focus on this an attitude change begins.
Sometimes I too need an attitude change. I need to bring myself up short and focus on all the blessings in my life here in Haiti and thank God many times every day for all of these. If I allow myself to focus on what I miss about spending time with my family and friends elsewhere it is detrimental to me living with a joyful spirit here. I need to remind myself to say ‘Thank you God’ for every part, of every day, and for everyone who is a part of that day.
Thank you God for all the children whose lives are being touched by the HATS-Haiti Mission. Thank you God for every person who has been a part of this work since day one. Together we’ve made a difference. Together we will continue to make a difference.