18 June 2012

The Little Things

This is one of my passengers (on the left). She sent me this photo as a thank you for the fruition of our hard work and some of God's good planning.

See, she was coming to Haiti with a team...but they were flying in with Missionary Flights International directly to Pignon and wouldn't be stopping in Port-au-Prince. She really wanted to see the child she sponsors through Compassion International, but she wouldn't be able to without some extra help. They were coming in on Thursday--could she get a flight Thursday evening?

Nope, my guys have strict duty hours and sunset limits. Plus, chartering the whole plane is a little pricey for one person. (I've been meaning to speak to the government fuel subsidy people about that...) Also, her sponsored child was actually from the northwest part of the island, but Compassion was willing to go and get her and bring her to PAP....but the timing just wasn't working out.

We went back and forth, and we were getting low on options, but I suggested that she spend the night in Port-au-Prince and head up to Pignon the next day with a cheap seat on our regular flight and regroup with her team. She wasn't so sure about spending the night in PAP alone, but I assured her that I knew a few good places that were safe, so we booked it. I gave her my cell phone number and told her to call if she had any problems at all.

Fast forward a few weeks later...I'm driving over to the international terminal to pick up David, who was returning from his medical renewal appointment in Florida. Stuck in traffic, I give him a call: "We're waiting under the shaded awning on the far side," he says. Traffic starts to move again, so I quickly say goodbye...then it hits me. "We?" Who's we?

Pulling up to him, he's waiting with a nice looking lady...who then proceeds to get into my car. After an awkward moment, he introduces us: This is the passenger I've been corresponding with--he helped her through customs and immigration when they had some difficulties. Man, those captains bars sure come in handy! I waited with her in the front office while her Compassion driver came to get her at the MAF office...and as we stood there, she noticed that her wardrobe was...um...malfunctioning, to use the phrase. We quickly dug a safety pin out of my purse and got her all fixed before the driver arrived so she didn't have to wear a sweater (and therefore faint from the heat). I got a hug.

The next day, David took her up to Pignon to re-join her group, and today, I got this email from her:

You two were a great help as I entered PAP.  David, thank you for a great flight to Pignon.  I'm so grateful for both of you!  Here are a couple of pics as I visited with our sponsored child and university student.  Christine, your safety pin helped keep things where they should have been. :)

It's the little things, isn't it? Our life here isn't always glamorous--despite our letters, it's not all medical evacuations and cholera supplies and chicken saving. But to an American traveling by herself who just wanted to meet the girl who's been on her heart, we were essential...and not just because of the flight. There's so many ways to be a blessing to someone--God reminds me through these small interactions that there's "MINISTRY," and then there's ministry. There's what I think I came to do (aviation) and then there's what He intends for me to do (safety pins).

Pray for us to be sensitive to his leading, in everything.


  1. I guess when we are in ministry, the hardest thing to remember is less of me and more of Him. I love your "MINISTRY" (aviation) vs. ministry (safety pin) illustration. May we who serve Him ever be aware when a safety pin is needed, even though we think we are here to do aviation.