Greetings! We are doing very well. We survived the trip back to the States. It was, without a doubt, one of the most physically exhausting and harrowing trips I have ever made.
Because it was cheaper to fly to Cairo first, and from there to Chicago, we spent a few days in Egypt in order to see the Pyramids, the Sphinx and the Cairo Museum. We were staying a “fur piece” from the airport, but I had hired a taxi to come get us and deliver us to the airport. The guy didn’t arrive on time. I was frantically trying to get in communication with the owner, and had started trying to find a new taxi when he at last arrived, two hours later than planned. I later learned our regular taxi driver had passed out from fasting (it was Ramadan) on the way to get us, and had been taken to a local hospital.
I have often wished that Uganda would improve their roads. Now I wonder if maybe bad roads are a good thing. When you have bad drivers and excellent roads, the result is a taxi driver who does a consistent 120-150 kmh and misses multiple other vehicles by INCHES at high speed. He did everything he could to get us to the airport in time. It wasn’t enough. The Cairo Airport was on high alert due to the recent terrorist attacks involving Egypt Air, so there was simply no way to get through security fast enough to make the flight. The taxi business owner put us up in a hotel for the night, and the next morning we went to the airport so I could work on getting the flight rescheduled.
We finally got a flight, and were at last underway to the United States. Bear in mind, I don’t know any Arabic, and very few Egyptians know English. Getting a new ticket was a challenge, but Qatar Air had their representative with me the whole time to help make it right.
Due to the changes in scheduling, our train trip from Chicago to St. Louis was now in jeopardy. Although the flight from Egypt was excellent (Qatar is the best airline in the world), we sat on the tarmac at O’Hare for an hour waiting for a gate. I had already managed to re-schedule the train trip once. Now I was going to miss THAT train. I did not have a cell phone. The Concierge desk at the airport let me use their phone, and I was able to re-schedule our train yet again. We literally got on the last train from Chicago for that day. By this time, we hadn’t slept more than 12 hours in the last 72. But we still had miles to go before we slept.
Only one luggage train goes from Chicago to St. Louis per day. The train we missed was that train. So, we had to get adequate clothing moved into our carry on luggage, and the rest was checked to come the next day. We didn’t get our luggage until Sunday evening. Somehow or other, I forgot to grab my dress shoes. Remembered everything else – forgot those.
We arrived in St. Louis at 11:30PM that night, and didn’t reach bed until nearly 1AM Sunday morning. I had a meeting in Union, MO later that day. Thanks to my brother-in-law driving, we got to the meeting, dressed somewhat for church, and presented our ministry coherently. They voted to financially support us beginning that day, a major encouragement. And we wanted adventure. 🙂
Furlough is going well. It is wonderful getting to be with family, drive on safe roads, go to baseball games, visit our churches, and so forth. I have had us in several churches close to St. Louis over the summer. Now we are entering the fall, and with that an increase in our travels. Pray for us and our vehicle as we travel the country.
Pray I will be successful in raising new support. I have us booked (except for September 18) through the end of the year. I am still in need of meetings in January, February, and March. If anybody has some leads on churches we could visit that might like to support a missionary to Uganda, please let me know. My American cell number is 314-498-7842 if anyone needs to reach me. (I am enjoying the novelty of being able to call people anytime I please due to us both being in the same hemisphere).
God bless you!