If you have traveled to San Juan with Solid Rock, you know just how much we emphasize the word “flexible.” If you have not served with us, soon after the team arrives in San Juan, we begin orientation. During orientation is when we introduce the word flexible. We explain to the group how during their week in the DR, they must be flexible. Plans change on a dime, things get canceled, medical sites get moved, construction supplies run out, etc. One thing we ask the group to do is to clap every time we say the word flexible during orientation. As you read this blog, feel free to clap each time I write it. I can tell you that I have had to do my share of being flexible. Why do I bring this up? Well, let me tell you about my travel day back to the DR.
I don’t want to go into too much detail, but I arrived at the airport two hours before my flight was supposed to take off. If you have ever flown out of Peoria before, you know that two hours is plenty of time. Unfortunately, on this day, due to the kiosk stands being down, all were required to go through the line. Flexible! This would generally be fine, and I wasn’t at all concerned because there were only three people in front of me. However, due to ticket changes that needed to be made to the others in front of me, I ended up standing in line for an hour and twenty minutes before seeing the person at the ticket counter. At this point, I’m starting to get a little bit nervous, knowing that I’m running out of time to get my luggage checked. When I got up to the counter, they started checking me in, and they asked for my return flight. I said I would be coming home sometime in the spring. This is usually enough for the people at the counter, but on this day, it was not. They proceeded to ask me for my flight date, airline, and flight number. I told them that I didn’t have one. I explained to the worker that I’m a missionary and that it’s hard for me to know months out exactly what date I will be able to come back to the States. The lady at the counter said that I must buy a return flight, and it has to be purchased within two minutes, or I will miss the flight. Guess what…I wasn’t able to purchase the flight on time. At the time this was all happening I definitely wasn’t thinking about being flexible. I just wanted to get back to the DR by 1:00 that day like I was supposed to! But, I had to be flexible, buy a new ticket, and get my flights changed. On the way back home, after calling my Dad to come to pick me up, he said to me everything happens for a reason. I still wasn’t thinking about being flexible!
As unfortunate as the day was, I was able to spread God’s love to others. If I’m honest, the lady at the counter wasn’t nice. (She didn’t care about how this was going to affect my day and how I would now have to get a hotel and take the bus back to the guesthouse.) When I returned, I was able to spread God’s love to her. I was able to tell her that I know that God had a purpose for what happened that morning, and I said as unfortunate as it was, I was able to learn from the situation. I told her that I had to rely on God for all things. After our conversation, she said that it’s crazy how things happen, and I said yes, it’s incredible how God works. In the end, she started being nicer. I kept telling myself…kill her with kindness!
Fast forward to my uber ride at 1:15 am...yes instead of arriving in Santo Domingo at 1:00 pm I arrived at 1:15 am (This does not have anything to do with being flexible, just a cool story.) The driver, Jose, asked me what I was in the DR for, and asked how long I was staying in-country. (He spoke English… so helpful!) I ended up sharing my whole testimony with him that night. At the end of the conversation, he asked how he would be able to feel God’s love, and he told me he wanted God to use him. So cool. If I had made that initial flight, I wouldn’t have been able to talk to Jose about God!
Here are a few other examples of how I have had to be flexible over the last few weeks:
I spent an hour at the store buying fans, should have taken 5 minutes. Flexible!
All four of our propane tanks ran out of gas while preparing lunch. Flexible!
Extra-large groups which mean more food, and lots of dietary restrictions. And running out of food. Flexible!
Groups not getting approved for medications and medical supplies being taken at the airport. Flexible
Internet outage, which makes online school very difficult. Flexible!
Getting sick mid-week. Flexible!
Those are just a few examples, but I know that If I rely on God to get me through those situations where I must be flexible, he will continue to sustain me.
-Strength to continue working through the next month and a half of ministry
-Travel throughout the country
-Please be in prayer for my Dad as he travels here for the first time in a few weeks. I’m so excited to show him where I live and what I do here