Here's the longer update. :)
As I sit with just a screened door separating me from this warm DanShui morning, I’m grateful, surprised, and humbled. Yet again God has provided, at the same time as He has humbled me (I love how He’s able to mesh those two together so often). :) I’m grateful to be in DanShui at all, and on time of all things…even if it is without any money or luggage. Surprised, because I was very certain that I’d miss my last flight, and have to take the next flight that went from L.A. to Taipei (leaving LAX 13 hours after my original flight was scheduled to leave). And humbled, because He’s reminded me, yet again, that He is truly in control.
Before I even got on a plane I had issues... both of my bags were a bit overweight, so I took a big purse out of one bag, and put stuff in it, and threw a shirt and pair of B-ball shorts into my backpack, and sent a couple things home. Both bags were fine then. Little did I know that 24 hours later, I'd thank God that my bags were too big; He was providing a way for me to have clothes for the next few days until my bags get to me. (you'll read about that later) Other than delays… my flights were wonderful; smooth, comfortable, and great people. My first flight was delayed by 2 hours. But, thankfully, my second flight had been delayed also, so it left at 11pm, instead of 9:40. The next part was the fun… or shall I say, crazy part. We sat on the runway for over an hour in Minneapolis (2nd flight). After about 20 minutes they informed us that they had boarded us, but didn’t have either of our pilots. And, of course, they were the only ones with access to the cockpit, and therefore the Air Conditioning. Needless to say, the packed airplane was full of unhappy travelers, 100% of whom had already been delayed from this flight (and many, from other flights too). So…. Pilots arrive from Denver, get to our plane, and we take off…. Very late. We get into LAX at 1:10am….. the flight to Taiwan leaves (not boards… leaves) at 1:40am… and it was running early, by almost ten minutes. Now, I can jog…. Not sprint very well, but LAX is HUGE, and the international terminal was outside and “about a 10 minute walk” as one security person told me when I asked how to get to an international flight. Oh joy…. As if I have ten minutes to just stroll outside in the nice California air to get to the security and eventually gate for my next plane…which happened to be two football fields (at least) away from where the International gates started. I mean of course, why would it be close or anything? :) Anyway, after much ado….. I was literally the last person on the plane. But thank the Lord, they waited. They told me my luggage wouldn’t make it to Taiwan, but at that point I was so out of breath and so amazed that I had made it, and tired (it’s 2am…4 am Iowa time), that I didn’t care.
Anyway, all of this to say that I’m thankful to be here, and grateful that God provides, and reminds me that it doesn’t matter if my “stuff” is here…. It’s ME that He wants in DanShui… the rest will come. =) Thanks for your prayers – they got me here. Oh, and about the money…. The money exchange place in the airport wasn’t open yet (we got into Taipei an hour early….. at 5:25), so I only have 400 NT that I have from the last time I was in Taiwan, 2 years ago. Again… just one of God’s provisions; I have a couple days worth of money simply because I was planning on coming back again, 2 years ago…. How cool). Our God is amazing, and I’m so glad He’s in control and not me!
The sounds of a typical DanShui morning surround me (along with the American music coming from my computer); a jack hammer working on a building down the street, birds chirping on the balconies of hundreds of apartments around town, and a baby crying as she and her mother make their way down the seven flights of stairs from their home above ours to the ground level….. ah, I’ve missed this place. It’s so wonderful to be back!! Again, thanks for your prayers and thoughts over the last 24 hours of travel. More soon. Don’t worry… I’m sure I’ll miss Iowa soon enough. =)