I have said sine January that I believe our trip to Uganda in June is a God-ordained trip: The people going; the work we will do; the Ugandans (and others) we will meet. All of it. I'm so excited! Because of that, God has been leading me and our team on a journey of trusting Him more. Leaning in more. Praying more.
In January, I put all of our flights on hold. We reserved them through a travel agent and were told we would need to pay in full by the second or third week of May. this was great news because we had (have) lots of fundraising to do! As time passed, a few additional people joined our team and I quickly booked their flights. Most of these flights had increased fares, somewhere between $200 and $400 dollars. I expected this as the trip drew nearer so I didn't ask any questions.
Fast forward to three weeks ago. Late on Wednesday night, I received an email from our travel agent informing me that if we did not pay for our tickets in full by Friday (36 hours later) that we would risk an increase in the ticket prices of up to 10%. (On $1800 a ticket, that's a lot for 15 people!!) I couldn't wrap my brain around this development, so I went to bed.
By morning, I was in full panic. I was taking my daughter to grandma's house to play with her cousin and called Carissa from the road. I was near hysteria but I knew what we needed was prayer. So we prayed. And then I asked a few more people on our team to pray. I felt more at peace by the time we arrived at grandma's house but my flesh was still in full panic. I set up Leah to play and ran to my dad's office. I started firing emails at my Travel Agent asking questions about why and how this happened. And I emailed Carolyn Twietmeyer (Project HOPEFUL) to ask for help and prayer. Something just wasn't adding up. Boy was I right....
Carolyn put me in touch with a new travel agent who engaged immediately (despite being at Disney with her family). The first thing I learned was that we could purchase flights that day for less than $1800. Huh? Why had we reserved tickets for nearly $2100 just a week or two earlier? Things definitely didn't make sense.
I quickly sent our new travel agent all of our reservations. Shortly thereafter, I learned a few critical facts: (1) the Chicago team was scheduled to fly out on two different flights the same night; (2) our Florida team member (17 years old) was booked to New York to change airports, to London to change airports again and meet up with us; and (3) one of our team was scheduled to fly home a day before the rest of us. Shame on me for not checking our reservations but hellllloooo travel agent! As if the significantly over priced ticket wasn't enough....
Suffice it to say, we moved forward with the new travel agent. But the threat of a price increase still loomed. As I raised the issue with our travel agent, I learned that the potential increase was only on the ticket -- not the taxes. Since taxes are huge, that made the highest increase (10%) a lot less daunting.
And then the real miracle took place. Where I didn't think there was any way we could pay for these tickets -- now "due" in 12 hours -- I contacted our team with the news. I explained the situation and begged for prayer. Much to my complete shock (and pleasure) the team stepped up and EVERY TICKET WAS PAID FOR.
Oh my word. Now, no one has the money for these tickets (which is why we are fundraising) but the idea that our ticket prices are locked and paid and that we don't need to worry about any future changes is nothing short of miraculous. What the evil one meant for evil, GOD MEANT FOR GOOD. Had this not happened, we may have flown on the previously overpriced, messed up, crazy itineraries. Instead, it is all straightened out for LESS money. To God be the glory!!
Bring on the miracles, Lord.
We see YOU!!!