Defying Expectations – by Kate W.

As on every trip, people have expectations. But before this trip, we are always warned that we cannot be confined by our expectations. We need to be flexible and not surprised if something on the schedule disappears. It’s an adventure, and it’s all worth it.

It’s only been a day, and our trip is already crazy. An amazing, exciting, crazy journey.

Most people know that airports are always ready for emergencies. But what most people don’t know is that once every 3 years, the airport has a live practice for emergencies, which looks VERY realistic, and consists of at least 10 ambulances, news trucks, many buses, and people on stretchers.

I think you understand that RDU chose for their one live practice drill to be TODAY. So we drove into the airport to be greeted by a full on plane crash scenario. Not the best way to start the day. Luckily, we eventually learned that it was just a drill.

After the first exciting event of the day, we checked our bags, went through security, and got to our gate. Unfortunately, our plane was late and then had engine problems. It was delayed for over two hours. And our layover between our second flight was only an hour long.

My dad and Mrs. Smith made a ton of calls and talked to a lot of people trying to, some way, find a way for us to make our flight. Even though it looked pretty gloomy, our group remained positive. After all, it was all in God’s hands.

Eventually we boarded our plane and after they restated the plane twice we got up in the air. We began to breathe a little bit because some people had said that once we got up in the air they could try to hold our plane for us. But we were ready to sprint (literally) through JFK to catch our flight.

But luckily, towards the end of the flight, the flight attendant came up to us and told us that they had successfully contacted the tower and our plane was being held for us! We were still ready to sprint though.

However, right after we landed, the lady also told us that the people at the airport had arranged for a bus to pick us up right outside of our gate and take us to our international flight. God was definitely on our side today.

So we run off our plan first on to the jet way and hop into a giant bus that is waiting for us. Then we ride across and in between planes until we arrive at our gate. We hop off of the bus and see a huge plane in front of us. They have opened the back door and set up a HUGE set of stairs for us. It is so loud I can barely hear as we take out our passports and tickets. I don’t know many people who can say they have had an experience like this.

Mission 1:27 Team boarding a Delta 767 through the rear door off the tarmac at JFK. Special treatment from a special airline - thanks for holding our flight!!

Today was an exciting day filled with experiences that are extremely rare. And I know that this journey will defy my expectations in every way possible. And that is just one of the things that is so amazing about it.


PS to Kate’s Post – The team has landed safely at SVO in Moscow and we are waiting for our luggage. Everyone is happy, healthy and thrilled to be on Russian soil. There likely won’t be any more blog posts for 36 hours as we spend the day in Moscow and then have a 14 hour train ride to Kirov. But look to hear from us shortly. Thanks for everyone’s support.

5 thoughts on “Defying Expectations – by Kate W.

  1. Wow!

    Max and I were thinking good thoughts all day yesterday. So so happy all worked out.

    God Bless you all!

  2. Thank you, Kate, for sharing such a wild and crazy experience…I am praising God that you did defy expectations and you are now in Russia. This morning my praise song was “All the Way My Savior Leads Me.” It sounds like that is exactly what has been happening to you all, all the way! Here are the lyrics:

    All the way my Savior leads me,
    What have I to ask beside?
    Can I doubt His tender mercy,
    Who through life has been my Guide?
    Heav’nly peace, divinest comfort,
    Here by faith in Him to dwell!
    For I know, whate’er befall me,
    Jesus doeth all things well;
    For I know, whate’er befall me,
    Jesus doeth all things well.

    All the way my Savior leads me,
    Cheers each winding path I tread,
    Gives me grace for every trial,
    Feeds me with the living Bread.
    Though my weary steps may falter
    And my soul athirst may be,
    Gushing from the Rock before me,
    Lo! A spring of joy I see;
    Gushing from the Rock before me,
    Lo! A spring of joy I see.

    All the way my Savior leads me,
    Oh, the fullness of His love!
    Perfect rest to me is promised
    In my Father’s house above.
    When my spirit, clothed immortal,
    Wings its flight to realms of day
    This my song through endless ages:
    Jesus led me all the way;
    This my song through endless ages:
    Jesus led me all the way.

    Would you believe there is even a Russian version of this? Have a blessed, healthy, and happy trip! We are praying for you every day!

  3. Wow! We are sitting in an airport right now but without such a crazy, cool story! We’re really glad you all stuck together and had good support from the travel pros in your group and all around you! Have a wonderful time but maybe not QUITE so crazy! 🙂

  4. Exciting start to your trip but the result was just fine, thank goodness! Thanks for the great blog, Kate! It will undoubtedly end up being one of those trips filled with unexpected delights as well as dilemmas.

    Sure thinking of all of you and keeping you in my prayers. Kendall, assume you know that the OSU-KU game last night was a nail biter for Jayhawk fans but we came out on top. Good luck with your selection for NCAA

    To the rest of you…forgive the personal family note. Have a blessed and wonderful trip.


  5. What a Journey…..first the plane adventure and then the luggage mess. Nice to see so many smiles in your first pictures actually at the orphanage. The adventure no doubt continues.

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