Thursday, January 14, 2010


God Sightings: My God is In-Control (even if I fail to realize it during the hard times)

Two weeks ago I came back to Kingston after Christmas holiday. It seems a lot has happened in that two weeks, and God has once again proven Himself to be Mighty and greater than my mind can imagine. At SPLICE training in Colorado this fall, we were encouraged to make notice of "God-sightings" and give him praise for what He does in our journeys.

God-sighting 1: After a smooth day of travel on the 31st, we arrived in Kingston. Long story short, I came into the country with a one-way ticket (just like I did in October, which was fine then...) which was illegal without a VISA. I got questioned and then "detained" to a small office area. A supervisor then came out to talk to me, and questioned me again. The issue stemmed from my Work-Permit paperwork still being in process even though it was supposed to be done by the first week of December. He left the room and returned again. He said he was bound by law to deport me to America on the same flight I arrived on, since I was not coming into Jamaica as a tourist. He said he was going to get my paperwork to send me back, and that he would escort me to the AA counter to purchase a return flight. After about another 15 minutes wait, he came back and said "unfortunately sir, the flight you were on has already departed back to Miami. Therefore we'll have to put you up here at the airport until the 6am flight tomorrow morning." My heart sank, but it was what it was and I couldn't fight it. Then after a pause he continued, "but I don't want to deal with having you here or making you stay here, so this is what we're going to do. We will give you a one-time entry Visa, but you MUST have your proper paperwork the next time you enter the country." I was so thankful and marveled at how God worked, the delays that I was so frustrated about while waiting in that room was enough time for the plane to leave, which allowed me to get in because the Jamaican official didn't want to deal with me staying. God is good. I paid $20 and was out of there.

God-sighting 2: I walked out of immigration to pick up my bags, but Erin and Ionda were waiting with the news that all of our bags didn't make the connection. They would arrive tomorrow. We met a nice guy and he helped us out with all the paperwork. We left the airport, then the bags got delivered the next day. However, instead of my bags showing up at Kingston, I got Erin's bags. I checked the tags and they had my name on the barcode. When we all checked in together in Indianapolis, the lady didn't know who's bag was who's I suppose and put Erin's name on my bagtags. I told the driver and he called another guy who had "Erin's bags" and told him to bring them to me. They arrived a couple hours later, and as I was carrying both bags up the stairs I realized the bigger one was not 50lbs. My heart sunk, I knew it was the LCD projector my supporters/cousins Randy and Mara Leman had bought me for the campus. I immediately opened the bag and it was gone. My heart sank, it had been stolen! I reported it to AA and they said the next day I could come to the airport to fill out a claim. A couple hours later I got a phone call from Jamaica customs, asking for Erin Davis (since the bag tags were switched). I said I was Erin (in Jamaica, if you say you aren't that person, you won't get any info, and I needed info) and he said that they had my projector in customs and that I needed to pay duty. He apologized that they didn't inform me sooner, but he said I could pick it up the next day. So Saturday, before the Gridley work team arrived, Erin and I headed to the airport. We realized that because they thought it was Erin's possession, she would have to claim it. But what that meant was that we wouldn't have to pay duty either, because Erin was legally in the country as a "non-resident alien" with proper work permit ID, which meant that she was entitled to $500 US goods duty-free. After some haggling and waiting, we got the projector back from customs and didn't pay a penny! God is in control. If those luggage tags had not been switched in Indianapolis (which at first I thought was a huge pain...shows us why I should be patient when things are going perfect) then I would have been stuck with maybe an expensive duty fee. God is in control, even with luggage tags!

God-sighting 3: Tune in soon to hear about God's work in the hearts of sinners during the Gridley work team! be continued


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