Typhoons, Mission Trips, and Travel Agents who go the extra mile

It’s the email every traveler dreads. 24 hours before heading for Moldova a message turns up in my inbox:

We regret to inform you that your flight from Auckland to Hong Kong has been cancelled.

Cancelled. There’s a strong note of finality in that word. I clicked the link for more information, but there really wasn’t a whole lot more; just a bunch of phone numbers which are only of use between the hours of 9-5, Monday-Friday. And its Saturday night.

The cause? A massive Typhoon heading for Hong Kong. Winds were in excess of 220 km/h.

OK, so let’s not land there. But can you take me somewhere else? Apparently not, since no one wants to pick up the phone. Thanks Cathay Pacific.

So I’m on my own. Time to call my Travel Agent, who by the way also happens to be a close friend and a brother in Christ. While I’m dialing I’m also praying – ‘Lord, I really need you right now’. I gave him the news. He told me they will most likely put me on the next available flight – which, according to their website, isn’t likely to be until Tuesday; the same day we’re meant to be in Moldova, at an international missions meeting. And that’s not counting the connecting flights.

“Well,” says Mike “The only other thing I could do is head into the office and try some other options.” I went quiet. I knew what that meant. A 30 min drive into town and foregoing what might have been a relaxing evening with his wife. But on this night I needed his help.

An hour later the phone rings. He contacted the insurance company, re-booked two seats on Singapore Air and a new hotel for the night. I’m elated.

The lesson from this? Get yourself a good Travel Agent – especially if you’re heading somewhere obscure and/or it involves connecting flights. And if its work for the Lord, find a fellow believer who’s also in the King’s service. He’ll go the extra mile – not just for you, but for Jesus.

This morning, before heading to the airport, I meditated on Psalm 31. There I saw this underlined in my bible,

But I trust in you, O LORD; I say, “You are my God. My times are in your hand” (vv.14-15).

The Lord had his hand on all of this; the typhoon, the trip – but most of all on my good friend Mike who was prepared to put aside his preferences, forsake a relaxing night and literally go a few extra miles for a friend in need.

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