Interruptions in Istanbul

Ruth, Bethany and Eden along with hundreds of others,watching the board for time and gate of our departure.

Istanbul AirportWe finally made it out of Istanbul about 24 hours after we were initially to have left. After hours of standing in various lines and trying to sleep on the floor of the airport our standby tickets were all converted to guaranteed seats for the four of us. I still cannot believe it but I am certain it was a result of the many prayers offered in our behalf.

Turkey has not had a storm like this for 10-20 years. We got in on the tail end of the three day storm. Turkish Airlines which flies into more countries than any other airline in the world cancelled 200 flights. They fed us well and tried to put us all up in hotels. But after waiting several hours in a line that seemed a half mile long, we were told there was no more hotel rooms available in Istanbul. This turned out to be an unexpected blessing for had we gone to a hotel we may have been stranded there and unable to pursue a seat in today’s flight out of Istanbul.

You may wonder why we flew to Belgium by way of Istanbul in the first place. We did it to save $300 on each of the four tickets. But by the end it seemed so impossible to compete against thousands who were equally desperate that I was willing to spend an extra thousand just to get out of this situation. But God had mercy on us and the experience cost us no more than time and stress. And I can testify that the sermon I preached this past Sunday is true: God’s grace is sufficient for us in every “thorn” we face. In fact we are strengthened by them. I found myself thanking Him in the middle of this experience for the opportunity to have experienced this interruption. We met some amazing people and we had the bonding with our granddaughter’s of experiencing this ‘fellowship of suffering” together. Praise be to God.

Now it is almost 2 am and I am ready to sleep in a real bed.

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