We had to go past this woman who would check to make sure we had the right luggage. Mark asked me to pull my purple suitcase behind me because we simply could not get any more on the trolley and I had no problems doing it because there were my crocheted things inside it and I wanted to make sure I had it! The lady began looking at the suitcases and asked to see the tickets that showed we owned the suitcases. The Pilgrim pulled his out and she was satisfied to see his but Mark couldn’t find ours. At this point, I think I was already having a running prayer time because I did not know what would happen next so I just added finding the tickets for our luggage to everything else that I was praying about. Mark told them that he didn’t remember receiving any but that was definitely our luggage. Mark started searching through everything to make sure. The man with us asked if he was sure and Mark said yes.
Suddenly, Mark remembered something and pulled out our brown envelope with all our important papers inside…sure enough! Our tickets for the luggage was there. The lady looked at Mark, the tickets and then our luggage…she looked at us pretty suspiciously (it seemed to me) but then I was starting to feel guilty anyway! She studied each ticket that she had and each ticket on the suitcases. I did wonder if maybe we were going to have a test on this part and maybe we should memorize the tickets! Hahaha! Finally, she let us through…ok she let Mark and Jerry through because I still had my suitcase that hadn’t been accounted for! She asked about the suitcase. I told her that she had the ticket for it and I was with those men who had just left. I began feeling a bit desperate because Mark was ahead and never even noticed what had happened. I wondered if I was going to be sent to prison on my own because I didn’t show my suitcase at the same time as Mark (ok, it wasn’t that bad but I did wonder what would happen). She glared at me and I told her she had the ticket. I showed her the number and said my husband gave her the tickets for them and this had been one of them. It seemed to me like she was about to go through all of them to make sure I wasn’t lying. I think, after looking at all the tickets she had, she came to the conclusion that it wasn’t worth it and waved me through with an irritated look in her eyes. I figured she was probably thinking something like, “That dumb American woman! Why couldn’t she have just brought the suitcase forward when I was inspecting it. I wondered why I had 6 tickets and only 5 suitcases. What is her problem anyway?” Oh well, I was just relieved that I was able to make it through! No prison for me this time! LOL! I quickly caught up with Mark. I was simply amazed at how the Lord was taking us through one step at a time!
Mark and Jerry seemed to have stopped because Mark said I was the first one out. I think I was so focused, at this time, on how we ended up getting through another barrier with the Lord’s help that I never really noticed who went out first. I must say, though, that we all went out the door. Whew! It was so much cooler outside then inside and I took a deep breath of the wind that was blowing! I was pretty excited about meeting everyone, as well as nervous but the time had finally arrived! Mark, Jerry and I were all standing together and I, for one, wanted to be able to video Mark’s meeting with Pastor Philemon. I figured there would be a grand welcome but Sister Dylin came up to me and I was only able to get a short video! Funnily enough, I think I got part of my foot at the very end of that video! LOL!
Sister Dylin welcomed me into the country and told me how glad she was that I was able to make it. She gave me a hug and I really wasn’t sure how to respond. I was going to hug back the way we do it in the states but it turned out a bit different. When they hug, the put their cheek up to one side first then to the other side. I felt pretty awkward because of not knowing what to do. Anyways, the moment of awkwardness passed slightly and I was able to breathe a sigh of relief. I really wanted to talk but didn’t know enough of Sister Dylin to say much so I ended up being quiet…as did she. I empathized with her. Now, when I was younger, I had always been shy and wouldn’t say much until I knew someone. I was never a very outgoing person but the Lord used different situations to take most of that out of me. In most situations now, I have a tendency to chatter a lot when I first meet someone. I am willing to ask questions and find out about the other person or tell them about me, if necessary. At this point, I was so out of my element that my mind was completely blank. What do you say to someone in another culture when you are going through culture shock? What is the right thing to say? How much will they understand when you do talk…especially when they are talking and you don’t understand most of what is being said? I was struggling to know what to say; although, not struggling about being in Liberia!