I can remember when grandma and I first went to the mission field, to Colombia, South America, in 1974. We were largely ignorant of what we were doing. We only knew that God had called us.
Was this the right place? Was this the right organization? Was this the right time? No idea, really. But, God had called us and we were willing and obedient. Obedient to as much as we understood.
We had just finished one year in South Texas studying Spanish in a combined language school and Mexican Bible institute. To say that we were excited would be an understatement.
The flights to get to Colombia from LA were the first times that we had ever flown.
Orchestrating the transition through Miami airport to the correct flight to Cali, Colombia, was an adventure, especially with a four year old Doug!
Arrival and movement through customs and immigration in a day when few if any officials spoke English was daunting. But we were excited.
We came out of the baggage claim area loaded down with as much as we could bring: bags and bags! The sun was just going down and the airport was getting ready to close. In those days, airports did not stay open 24 hours.
We had sent messages about our arrival to the missionaries in the country. We were tired, yet expectant of a good reception. To our dismay, there was no one there. They had somehow missed our messages.
Now, what to do? New Spanish speakers, new international travelers, and the airport about to close! I don’t remember exactly how God worked it out in a day without cell phones and no actual coins to use the public telephone system, much less know how to use it.
But, God knew what He was doing. And, with the help of strangers around us, it wasn’t too long before our new missionary colleagues (who we had never met) were driving up in front of us. Late that night we fell into bed in a strange house, a strange neighborhood and a strange language
Doug was four or five, grandma was 24 and I was 26. We had learned a valuable life lesson. God was out in front of us! All we had to do was obey and follow.