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Note from Lisa: I’m honored to welcome my husband, Bryan, back for another guest post here on Maggie’s Milk. He’s sharing some thoughts about God’s faithfulness, even in the seemingly small things. Take it away Bryan!
Lisa and I left home on Saturday, July 7 to fly to St. Louis, Missouri. Our plan was to drive down to Missionary Acres (near Silva) for a few days before heading to Cleveland, Ohio to Baptist Mid-Missions headquarters for Missionary Candidate Seminar. (See, here we are!)
In preparation, we packed literally the bulk of our wardrobe, as we are going to be away from home for just over two weeks.
We landed and walked over to the baggage claim. And waited. For a long time. When our luggage didn’t come out on the conveyor belt, let’s just say that we were a little frustrated and concerned.
We made our report with Southwest Airlines, and they promised to call when our luggage was found. We left a little more then a little unhappy. And then the Lord started to work on us.
Lessons learned from lost luggage
We are not seasoned air travelers and didn’t pack like we should have. Our bags were perfect for a road trip, but not a flight.
A couple of the things we learned are probably no-brainers to frequent flyers, but they were not for us!
1) Take some clothes with you on the plane
We each took a carry-on plus a personal item. But, we didn’t bring clothes in our carry-ons.
As a result, we had to go shopping: undergarments, socks, t-shirts, soap, shampoo, razor, shaving cream, contact solution, etc.… to buy all of that for one day.
More than I care to admit.
Even though this would not have helped us this leg of the trip, we realized going forward we should mix our luggage.
With two of us traveling, it might be a good idea to put half of our luggage in each bag, so that if one bag were lost, we would still have enough clothes to make it a few days…
What would have helped, would to have also carried on at least one days’ worth of clothes and some of the basic toiletries.
2) Get a Status Update
If the airline does lose your luggage, call the airport back before you leave town. We were stuck in the airport for an extra couple of hours dealing with the lost luggage. Then we went and got a rental car, stopped for dinner, and stopped at a store to purchase what we needed.
All of this took time. We then drove two and a half hours to Missionary Acres.
The next day, we had to drive back to St. Louis when our luggage was found…
But, it turns out our luggage arrived in St. Louis about the same time that we finally drove out of town the night before. They just didn’t call us to let us know.
Had I called the airport, there is a good chance we would have been able to get our before leaving town. This would have saved us the five-hour round-trip the second day.
3) Keep Delivery Options In Mind
Now you may be asking yourself, why didn’t the airport drive our luggage to us?
Well it turns out that not all airlines have the same policies. And 2+ hours, was too far for Southwest to drive our luggage to us. So, they said they could FedEx our bags to us.
We flew in late Saturday afternoon. FedEx was already closed, and they were closed Sunday. FedEx wouldn’t be able to pick up our luggage from Southwest at the airport until Monday, and with overnight delivery, we wouldn’t get them until Tuesday.
Not wanting to be without our clothes and things that long, we opted to drive back up instead. This may not always be an issue (I have flown before, and this is the first time I have ever lost luggage), but it is something to consider when traveling.
Why Am I Thankful for Lost Luggage?
Since it was an annoying and frustrating situation, why in the world would I say I’m thankful this happened?
Well, it was just another reminder that God is in control.
We took a few extra days to come to Missionary Acres before Candidate Seminar. This allowed us some extra time to make an extra trip to the airport.
Had we flown directly to Candidate Seminar and our luggage was lost, it would have been a lot more difficult to make arrangements to pick it up. We would have not had items we needed the first day. So, we are praising God it happened this way.
We also know that we will probably have to travel by air again in the future. This experience will drastically change how we pack. We even packed our return trip home differently based on what we learned this trip… So again, we are praising God.
Also, Lisa’s Mom wanted to help with the situation, and sent us some money to do so. We were going to use it to cover the cost of a hotel in St. Louis, so we could avoid the long drive down to Silva and back.
But instead it almost perfectly covered the items we needed to buy for the night. It was a definite blessing, since all of that was unexpected and NOT in the budget. But, God provided, and we are so thankful for the generosity!
The Amazing Power of Prayer
Finally, many people – in our home church, our family, and the folks down here in Missouri – were praying for our luggage. IT WAS AWESOME to see so many people come together in pray for something seemingly simple.
It was also a huge blessing for us to see this response. We know that there are people praying for us all the time. Our biggest request as we start our journey to becoming missionaries, is for prayer. But it is enjoyable for us to see, not only that people care, and are praying, but that they rejoice with your when the prayers are answered – not to mention, seeing God work!
It would be very easy to be disgruntled, or angry about lost luggage. We really weren’t that mad – other than about how we were treated by the Southwest Airlines staff at the St. Louis Airport…
But that is a story for another time.
God took care of us. And we like seeing that. We know that we have a big God. And we know that our God will always provide for us. But is sure felt good to see Him working even in this small need.
It’s Lisa again. One of these days we will be sharing more about this life changing trip, and the path the Lord has us on.
We are so thankful for Bryan’s Mom and the other Grandparents who watched our kids so we could attend Candidate Seminar. It was a definite blessing, and the Lord taught us much on this journey!