3M: Thankful

With all the new changes in visa laws in Ukraine in September 2011, I am now a little tense whenever I leave Ukraine or return.  That was the case in September when I fly to the US and again in November flying to Budapest.

Sunday was no different.  I am in the habit of praying on the way to the airport now and pray continuously when I am inside the airport.  In September when I fly home for vacation I made acquaintance with one of the passport control guys.  He speaks pretty good English.

As God would have it, he was on duty in November when I flew to Budapest.  At first he told me that I had overstayed and had not registered and that I would need to pay a fine.  I showed him my paperwork and then he called his supervisor and then he said all was in order, stamped my passport and I was on my way.

Yesterday as I was praying through security and looked up and he was the only guy on duty.  I like being one of the first ones through since the wait is always short and the customs people seem to be in a good mood.  When he saw me, he smiled and I knew everything was going to be ok.  He asked me how I was liking the cold weather.  I asked him a few personal questions to get to know him better.  He stamped my passport and said he would see me next time.

As soon as I walked into the waiting room, I began thanking the Father for His goodness in allowing this young man to be on duty the last three times I have left the country.  I thanked Him for always being with me, no matter what!

The plane was delayed 45 minutes which happens to be exactly how much time I would normally have once arriving in Vienna and to get to my next flight.  We must have flew really fast as we were only 15 minutes later than the original arrival time.  However, I knew I still had to get on a shuttle bus, go through passport control and then find my gate.  There was no way I could get that done in less than 30 minutes.

As God would have it, Austrian knew this as well and had a van waiting for several of us with quick turnarounds.  The van driver took us to the main terminal, walked us to the front of the line, got our passports stamped, walked us to a special security area and then drove us directly to the plane.  The plane was still waiting us on and I boarded the plane just minutes before the original take off time.

I sat in my seat and thanked the Lord once again.  Isn’t it great to see God’s hand on our lives?!?  I had arranged for a driver to pick me up in Budapest, but I had written him from Donetsk to let him know that I might not make the original connection.  In Vienna, I had enough time to send him a text message to let him know that I would arrive on time.

When he met me, I was able to share how God blessed me throughout the day’s travel with help when I needed it and he got me to Budapest on time!

I wonder how often the Lord does things like this in my life and I don’t return thanks?  How often does He do “little” things in my life and I am silent?  May I be more vocal, more often in telling Him how thankful I am for His goodness!

2 thoughts on “3M: Thankful

  1. Hello Joe,

    I noticed you were a fan of the Tiger’s (Donets’k pro basketball team). My wife and I spent about 40 days in the Ukraine in Aug/Sept 2005 while adopting our son from an orphanage there. I found the Tiger’s site as a basketball player from the University of Kansas is/was there and I was trying to see if I could connect with him – his name is Darnell Jackson from Oklahoma City. Any contact I can acquire is very important as I want to stay in touch with his orphanage and folks there. His Godmother and her daughter work at the Children’s Home (Orphanage) and we stay in contact via sharing pictures of our son on Facebook. I heard the weather is brutally cold there, so I was very concerned for the orphans and for our friends Tatyana Pavlenko and her daughter Helena Kyrasova. Be well, stay warm and God bless you.

  2. Mark,
    I am in another country right now and missing all the cold weather in Ukraine for the moment. I have met Darnell and the other players for the team. I will try to connect with him and let him know you are trying to reach him. However, it will be a few weeks before I am back in UA.

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