1. Belfast to Newark
On Thursday 31st August we left home at 7:30am GMT. Our flight did not leave until 11am but with all the recent security problems we wanted to leave plenty of time to go through everything.
When we arrived at the airport, just a 15 minute drive from our home, we found only about 20 people in the line! What a blessing! Having flown internationally before I expected many more than that.
At the ticket desk we had a good conversation with the lady putting us through. She told us the plane had a lot of empty seats which encouraged us.
So, we moved through the terminal and had about three hours to wait. When we got to the gate and prepared to board the lady we spoke to at the check-in desk came back to us. She asked if we wanted to have our seat assignment changed so that we would have a row of seats to ourselves by the bulkhead! Another tremendous blessing!
Our seats had plenty of leg room, they set up a bassinet for Ashleigh to sleep in and all our carry on could fit by our feet! We could not have asked for more.
Apart from my accidently bringing a liquid cleaning fluid on board the plane and having to turn it in to the air steward once I realized I had it in my pocket, it went smoothly.
Ashleigh did not sleep that much but we did have a smooth and relatively quick flight.
We arrived in Newark about 7pm EST.
2. Newark to Atlanta
I had a couple of concerns about customs and immigration. Not that I had anything to hide, but I was concerned about misunderstandings. First, because we are here for two months I thought that might be a problem. Also, because I am speaking in a number of churches I wondered if they may construe that as “work”. Within my luggage I had 50 packages for pastors here that contained CD’s with our presentation, letters and other paper work. I wondered if they might be concerned they had been brought to be sold.
Anyway, the Lord, in a round about way which we did not appreciate at the time, got put in a queue with a trainee immigration officer. He was more nervous than we were and we got through with out any problems. The round about way was was being moved from the front of one queue to the back of another. Not a joy at the time but help in retrospect.
As for the CD’s in the luggage. The lady in front of us tried to bring in fruit from Italy, so they did not look too closely at us.
As I said, I had nothing to hide and know I am doing nothing wrong, but the enemy had put doubts in my mind and I was concerned I’d be shipped back to the UK.
After that we moved on to the Gate and prepared to get on the next plane for Atlanta.
The final flight was not quite so smooth. First our flight was delayed for two hours because another plane broke down, then the vehicles they use to push the planes back was not available so we had to sit on the plane, then one of the air stewards had the wrong paperwork so we had to wait for that to clear, then we joined a queue of about 20 other planes on the runway waiting for clearance, then we finally got off the ground. Arriving at Atlanta was quite smooth but then the tunnel they attach to the plane for us to disembark broke, so we had to wait for an engineer to come and have a look!
However, the Lord knew what He was doing and I thank the Lord for all that went right and also for the Providential hindrances.
Ashleigh traveled very well despite being on the move for around 24 hours straight.
We arrived at Carrie’s mom’s place around midnight EST which was around 5am GSP. We have a couple of quiet days and then on Monday I head for Valdosta, Georgia!
Please continue to pray.