Our original plan was to stay in a hotel on the Friday of February the twenty-fifth because we wanted to make sure we arrived at the airport on time. As the day drew near, though, the forecast was snow all day on the Friday and we began wondering if we would be able to make it up on that day. A new decision had to be made. Should we go up on Thursday? Or should we just wait and go up on the Friday? Was it going to snow too hard on the Friday? Would Dad be able to drive us up on the Friday? Did he even want to get out in the snow that day? We discussed it with him and he said he really didn’t want to be out in the snow if it would be too bad but he was willing to drive us up that day if that’s what we wanted. Finally, the decision was made. We would go up on Thursday and stay the night both Thursday and Friday. Once Mark was off work, we packed everything up for the stay at the hotel and headed off. Mom didn’t want to drive either of the vehicles back, simply because it was supposed to be snowing hard on the Thursday evening return trip home. She volunteered to stay at home because eight people would not fit into either their van or our van. We decided to take Mom and Dad’s van because it was smaller and better gas mileage. In the end, we also decided to leave the girls home with Mom because of the weather. If it did get bad on the Thursday night then Dad, Trenton and Sterling needed to be free to help Dad take care of anything that happened. Well, we took some photos, said goodbyes to the girls and to Mom, gave many hugs then headed off to the hotel.
Although I have no fear of flying, I always feel that if we board a plane without the rest of the family there is a very real possibility that we may not return. This means that we will leave five children parent-less so we had already done up a will in case something happened to us. I was not fearful of how the children would be taken care of because I am convinced that if the Lord takes us home to heaven then He will be the One to take care of our children through the hardest time of their lives. I had typed up a letter on my email to let them know how much I loved them if something did happen to us but then looked forward to our trip to Liberia.
Dad dropped us off at the hotel and returned home with the boys after goodbyes were said once again and many hugs were given. We ate a doughnut that Mark had bought for us and then got ready for bed. It was quite late and we were pretty worn out. We had planned for Mom, Dad and the children to come see us at the hotel if the snow slacked off so we were pretty excited about that. Friday morning came and we watched the weather all day in hopes that it would stop or slow down but about the time we thought it would, it started back up again. We eventually decided it would be best for the family to stay home. We were pretty disappointed but knew the Lord had everything worked out in the way He wanted so we enjoyed a quiet day. I was able to accomplish much with my Bible reading, prayer, and journal writing (had to remember what happened so I could share with everyone); although, not as much as I really wanted.
Mark and I took a walk around in the snow and ended up getting our shoes and boots completely soaked. I decided that my boots would be too warm to take to Liberia…besides they were pretty worn out and were not really productive for wearing in the snow. Too much water leaked in and my feet were soaked within just a minute or two of being in the snow. This was one pair of boots that had to go…and not to Liberia! The day slowly drew to a close and we had decided previously that we would go to bed at 7:30pm simply to be able to wake up early the next morning. We found out that we would need to be downstairs to catch the airport shuttle bus by 4am and we wanted to be fresh and ready to go for that.
I went to sleep quickly, but woke up about 9:30pm. The adrenalin was going and it took me about an hour to return to sleep so I was able to spend some of that time praying but the other part I wondered what it would be like in Liberia. I knew the people were excited about us coming but what would it really be like? I was prepared for the worst because when Mark went, he said it was pretty bad. Once again, I drifted off to sleep. I woke up every hour or so due to the excitement and was getting a bit frustrated as I wanted to be able to stay awake in the plane. We eventually got up before the time was set and part of that was because one of the pastors from Liberia gave us a call. He wanted us to know that everyone in the church was meeting for prayer…for us! They wanted to make sure we would arrive safe and sound to them. Mark thanked them and chatted for a couple of minutes then we readied ourselves for departure to the airport. It didn’t take us long to get ready and we headed downstairs to wait for the shuttle bus. We had the great idea of going in our sandals because we wanted to have cool feet when we reached Liberia. The only problem was that it was still snowing outside and it was cold!