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Colombia: 7/31/06, Mon.

9:25 a.m. We had a good breakfast in the hotel before heading to the airport. We sang Happy Birthday to Jose Jr. (19 today), Happy Anniversary to Sharlla (30 years today), and Happy Birthday Tomorrow to Laura (turning 26). I slept very well last night on feather pillows and under a down comforter!

What with paying the exit tax, Customs, and four security checkpoints, we were afraid of missing our flight. But we all made it, and now we're waiting for all the luggage to be loaded.

On the bus to the airport, Pastor Fabian shared with us the reason why he moved to the U.S. He'd been a famous preacher in the city of Girardot, and was even preaching on TV. One night, driving home with his wife and (at the time) 2 children, a truck pulled in front of them and blocked the road. It's dangerous to stop at night, but he couldn't get around the truck.

When he stopped, men with guns came out of the bushes. One was as his wife Adriana's window, trying to open the locked door. She was covering her husband's head, screaming, trying to stay down.

Fabian decided in desperation to ram the truck, and the next thing they knew, they were on the other side! They drove off, expecting shots from behind, but there were none.

For the next few months, the family was constantly on the move, trying to lay low. But the anxiety really got to them, so they decided to emigrate to the U.S. That was four years ago, and this is Fabian's first return trip to Colombia. Maybe next year his family can go with him.

10:20 We're in the air, above the 1st layer of clouds. I'm going to save my last pics for the ocean. The mountains are so beautiful, even from the are.

I'm thinking when I get home, I want to look at a sattelite map of Colombia, see if I can see Ibague, and save the image (if possible) to my Yahoo! Photo Album.

According to the Delta route map, from Bogota we go NW and gradually turn North to Atlanta, GA. We will fly over the Grand Cayman islands and Cuba, and enter the U.S. over Florida. So all the land I can see now is still Colombia. When we fly over the ocean, to our left it might be possible to see Central America, but I'm on the right window seat of the plane, so I'll only see ocean.

The needs in Colombia are so great, and now I don't really want to do missionary work anywhere else, unless I can also go to Colombia that year.

God used me so much on this trip, for more than just translating. It was so powerful to pray for the people like we did, to listen to what the Holy Spirit wanted me to pray for them, to hear about their problems and remind them that God is with them.

11:00 I got a pic of the Colombia coastline, and that turned out to be my last pic! :(

1:35 p.m. I saw the Grand Cayman islands, and then Cuba. And now the Captain just told us we're flying over the FL panhandle, but the clouds below us are so thick I can't see any land. And they go on as far as I can see.

4:00 (5:00 Atlanta time) We're on our next plane, and we made it through Baggage Claim, Customs, rechecking, and security. No time for food, so I hope Dave has supper ready for me!

I got a window seat again, and once more I'm a row behind Aldo. Looks like I also don't have a seatmate. Nice!

**PostScript: After an uneventful flight and landing, we made our way to baggage claim. There we saw Sharlla's husband, and congratulated him on their Anniversary. I also got to meet Aldo's beautiful wife again, and see his 3 children for the first time.

Pastor John told me he'd seen Dave driving around outside, adn when I went out with my luggage, he was there. We said quick goodbyes to our teammates, and then went our separate ways.

I forged some wonderful friendships on this trip, and learned a whole lot. I got a new nickname, and laughed enough to become 'famous' for it. God worked in powerful ways, and I'm so privileged to have been a small part of that. I hope reading this has blessed you, too.
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I'm happy your trip was not only a blessing but a learning experience as well. Do tell, what is this nickname?
Ah, you did not read carefully enough in this entry:


Hint: it's in the first part, where I listed everyone's nicknames. :D
Ah, I missed a post. Is it a good name? Everyone seems to have had a good time.
We did have a wonderful time! And I really like my nickname. :D
I'm glad you kept a diary. Experiences like this should not be forgotten with time.