Monday, October 30, 2006

Same Flight Different Destination


I had a big smile on my face walking through the international terminal at DFW. I can’t say if was the ease my third bag was allowed on the plane, the familiar place and faces – seeing so many Indian passengers that produced the euphoria – but I had it and I intended to keep it as long as I could.

I was even prepared for the security line and pulled out my “suspicious” liquids in a handy Ziploc bag ready for inspection.

To those passengers seated around me – the ritual I perform prior to the take off must seem peculiar. My son and I traveled together last January and when he saw the process he commented “you are a FREAK!”

I quickly take my window seat, empty out the front pocket and refill with my own necessary and immediate items. Next, I remove my ionizer and place it protectively around my neck – a shield against all those airborne enemies. I carefully open the provided blanket while stowing the plastic liner to be used as a temporary garbage bag when needed. I remove my contacts, don my glasses, pull out appropriate reading/writing material, stow all other unnecessary hand luggage safely under my seat. Now I make sure tissues and drugs are readily accessible, remove my shoes, stow them where there is no slippage, don socks for warmth, and arrange the blanket for maximum coverage.

I patiently watch the boarding passengers scan the seat numbers in the aisle looking for where they will land. Of course I can’t forget to pray! However, the confession is I am praying for my seat to be empty so I can stretch out! On a fully-booked flight this was not to be. Of course I also pray for the small quiet types as well. Then I pray for the children – that’s right – I am always thinking of the children. Keep them as far away from me on the plane as possible.
The airplane has served as a safe sanctuary and decompression tank where I can mentally adjust to the days and times ahead.

I count my blessings always – next “sheep”.

Monday, October 16, 2006

INDIA - Calendar of Events

OCTOBER 30
Depart DFW

OCTOBER 31
Arrive in Frankfurt Germany
Depart for India

NOVEMBER 1
Arrive Mumbai 1:30 am
Connect with Gateway Outreach

NOVEMBER 2
Mumbai
Meet with Pastor P

NOVEMBER 3
Travel to Hubli
Team Meeting and Orientation

NOVEMBER 4
AM: Program at Orphanage
PM: Program in local village

NOVEMBER 5
AM: Worship Program at local church
PM: Program at orphanage
PM: Program in village

NOVEMBER 6
AM: Teaching Program at Community Campus
PM: Program in village

NOVEMBER 7
AM: Teaching Program at Community Campus
PM: Program in village

NOVEMBER 8
AM: Travel to Belgaum
PM: Program in village
Overnight in Gokak

NOVEMBER 9
AM: Gokak Children Festival & Seminar

NOVEMBER 10
AM: Meeting with local believers
PM: Program in village

NOVEMBER 11
AM: Meeting with local believers
PM: Travel to Hubli

NOVEMBER 12
AM: Worship Program at local church
PM: Program at orphanage
PM: Program in village

NOVEMBER 13
Debrief with Pastor

NOVEMBER 14
AM: Travel to Mumbai
PM: Transfer to Mumbai Airport

NOVEMBER 15
Depart 3:20 am
Arrive 2:40 pm DFW