Picture of the teamThe curbside excitement at SFO at 5:30AM this morning was palpable. We were excited to see one another, excited to go and excited to serve. Bags were checked, bordering passes issued (well, for most parts of the journey), and security cleared. A light breakfast courtesy of the fine, fine vendors in Terminal 3 fueled us for the long day of travel ahead. With three flights, we were looking at 20 hours of total air time.

Onboard the plane, we were all fortune enough to at least have one team member in close proximity. I enjoyed my seat next to Judy and Carolyn as we shared travel stories, California stories and faith stories. Mind you, we covered all these bases in 10 minutes of pre-flight time.

Something else happened in those 10 minutes. Our plane sprung a leak!

Ladies waiting at DullasOur left engine had to undergo thorough checks and tests, some of which involved shutting down entirely. Our initial estimate of a 15 minute delay quickly turned to 30. Then 45. Then we got some of the funnier news of the day: there was no leak! Instead, after performing routine maintenance on our aircraft, last night’s crew missed a spot when they cleaned-up, which left a pool of oil that could have indicated a leak. A grumble of frustration worked its way down the aisles of our plane, but we all agreed that we were happy to be safe instead of sorry.

Keith and Jasmine at SFOReady to go, we buckled in, set our sights to the clear blue sky and . . . sat still. The “push crew”--those of the flashlight-waving, plane-back-up-facilitating trade—assigned to our plane had moved on to another plane when we were delayed. Another hour passed and we did the math: barring any miraculous tailwinds, we weren’t looking good for making our connection in Dulles.

And we didn’t.

As airlines passed the buck back-and-forth over who was responsible for re-routing 18 charming individuals to Ethiopia from Dulles International Airport, we forged deeper bonds, prayed, laughed and enjoyed each other’s company greatly. Juanita from United emerged as our personal hero, arranging a direct flight on Ethiopian air for tomorrow (the 18th), hotel accommodations, a meal voucher and a shuttle voucher.

Day 1Was today’s travel rhythm ideal? Surely not. But were we blessed to be with a crew that could make the best of it? Absolutely.

Andrew keeping spirits upIt looks like God had plans for us to take a little more time to get to Ethiopia. The good news is, we got a bit of a something-went-differently-than-planned dress rehearsal on domestic soil. And the team couldn’t have been handled things better.

We’re looking forward to keeping you posted once we make it to Ethiopia. We’re now looking at landing in Addis Ababa on Sunday the 19th (their Easter), and launching into serving on Monday.

Thanks for the continued prayers!