This trip is now in the rear view mirror, yielding memories and a spiritual impact that will be revealed in eternity. Only God knows all that was accomplished. There were sixty one total professions of faith, as seven American pastors spoke in eight Romanian Baptist Churches in the vicinity of Oradea. A wonderful pastor’s conference followed in Satu Mare, Romania.
The trip ended on an extremely high note for me. Once again, I had challenges at Dallas/Fort Worth Airport (DFW). [The first DFW adventure is on this blog site under 2012 Mission Trip To England/Uganda, Part 5]. We left Budapest early in the morning as we commenced our thirty hour journey home. The officials in Budapest would not check my luggage all the way to Florida, which meant I had to retrieve it in Dallas, and check it in once again. I already had little time between flights, and now had luggage to deal with. Add to this- going through Customs, entering security once again, and traveling to another terminal to catch the final flight home. Humanly speaking, I thought I may miss the flight, and prayed about this concern for several weeks. There was a bit of good news in our flight from Heathrow Airport /London to Dallas, Texas. Our flight came in twenty minutes early, which is common with flights that come from “across the pond,” since picking up a tailwind can take time off of the flight. But still, there was too much to do in very little time. I was wondering where my God was at my first check point – Customs. This station was a royal mess in Dallas, with several options that served only to confuse the passengers. I asked a fellow passenger which method would be fastest for an American citizen. He suggested simply having my passport scanned. I went to that station and saw hundreds of people who were “deer in the headlights,” not knowing how to place their passport in the scanner, and of course no one was there to explain how it is done because this was a government operation. I placed my passport in the scanner what seemed like twelve times without success. I was beginning to envision a night in the terminal and catching a morning flight. Then God entered the picture: An airport employee was right next to me and he correctly read my frustration. It was a miracle just to see him, as moments prior to this, absolutely no airport worker was anywhere in sight. He seemed to just materialize. He said: “He would help me.” I had NO IDEA how much he would help me. He scanned my passport in a heartbeat, and I thought that would be the end of it. Then he said: “Just stay with me, and I will put you on your flight, but you must stay with me.” He was helping a handicapped gentleman at the same time that he was assisting me. He then helped a lady with a small child, giving them a place in the line in front of us, as a true gentleman would do. He expedited my obligations, through escorting me past existing lines that I would have been in if I were alone. He explained to me that God gives preference to some, and since I was with him, I was able to receive it. I wholly agreed with him with a grateful heart. By now, I realized he was the answer to my many prayers and I told him so. As it turned out, his name was James Smith, and he was a fellow pastor from a nondenominational church. This is what we call a “God thing.” As we progressed from one check point to another, I was still a bit nervous, with the boarding time rapidly approaching. James said: “Do not worry, I am use to this, and I will get you there on time.” If I were alone, I would have been running, but James Smith’s mere presence cooled my jets and I walked with him. I never met a man like James, and I told him so. [The Texans I travelled with saw the one helping me as they retrieved their luggage. One of them previously offered to drive me to the terminal of my departure, but realized that I was in very good hands. They were amazed.] We came to my departure gate while the passengers were boarding, and James escorted me to the front, and then took me all the way through the tunnel, and unto the airplane. I had no idea that when James said: “I will help you,” to what extent he would do so. No, you cannot make this stuff up. I ask you, what are the odds for circumstances like this to happen to anyone? I will tell you – zero, zilch, nada, forget it.
What is the moral of the story? God told me that if you take care of your mission assignment, then I will assist you with the details over which you have no control. Thank you Jesus. This was a blessing to me because it was also a Divine revelation that I was in the center of His perfect will.
The future entries for this Hungary/Romania 2017 Mission Trip will consist of several parts and give a detailed day by day account of the entire mission trip.
Maranatha and Forever Thankful, Pastor Steve