Gabe's initial travel plans were DFW to Atlanta; then Atlanta to Amsterdam; than Amsterdam to Accra, Ghana. LOTS of hours of flying. After we left the airport and were watching his flight on a flight tracking app, we saw that it had been delayed and that he was going to miss his connecting flight to Amsterdam. Insert a teary mom here, who is now stressing about WHAT and WHERE her missionary is going to be and do in Atlanta at 9pm at night with no flight, no phone, and nothing else going to Amsterdam that night. AAGH! Called the mission travel office and after much back and forth, turned around, went back to the airport to see what we could arrange - do we figure out another flight, or do as the travel office recommended and pick him up and bring him home (and then do the goodbyes again the next day?). After trying to page Gabe twice at the airport with no luck, Bill said we might as well go back home and work with the church office to get it figured out. Insert round two of teary mom leaving the airport for a second time with no son, no plan, and worrying about what he would do all night.
Making a very long story short, everything worked out. Since the travel delays were because of the airline, they put him up in a hotel in Atlanta, changed his flight and sent him to JFK and then a direct flight from JFK to Ghana, AND moved him to business class and more legroom. Fantastic since it's almost a 10-hour flight! After being able to finally talk to him, we found out he had a smooth night, good night sleep, good breakfast, and that everything was going great - no stress and he hadn't been nervous or worried about staying by himself in Atlanta. He was very excited to have a direct flight to Ghana and to have the extra comfort in business class along with it. So I'm breathing much easier. Today is my birthday and I'm grateful not to be spending it on pins and needles hoping he arrives okay.
So grateful for this wonderful young man I'm blessed to call my son. For his example, for his strength, for his kind heart, for his loving, generous nature, and for his willingness to serve God. Though the goodbyes yesterday were hard, I know that wonderful things will come from his service. We appreciate the notes, prayers, and messages being offered and sent on our family's behalf. Big hugs to all of you!
Last hug for dad
Final shot through airport security
Gabe's Mission Plaque Photo