Sunday, May 18, 2008

51 C

Two years ago, I posted this picture:

That was Bethany's first plane ride, 11 years ago. I remember thinking as we dropped her off at the airport (in 2006) and said goodbye to her before she went through security, that that's what she still looked like to me. My little girl. With her adventurous spirit and a Barbie backpack, eager to get on a plane and see the world. When this photo was taken in 1997 she needed her mom to take her through the airport and show her how to board a plane. Fast forward (and I do mean fast!) a few short years and this is what I saw yesterday:

A young woman of 14, as adventurous as ever but with a Swiss Army backpack instead of a Barbie one, who can navigate her way through airports and find her own seat on the plane, eager to fly to whatever God has waiting for her across the world! I still saw glimpses of that first picture in my mind's eye as I watched her. I suppose I always will!

I kept snapping photographs until it became too awkward, marveling at what God has done with our little girl. She is traveling to China with a group of top notch college students led by one of our church's campus pastors. As I look over their schedule for the upcoming two weeks, I am struck by the amazing opportunities that lay before them. She will be staying with our dear friends who are missionaries there, but also working alongside the college team as much as she can. She will speak to small groups of students at a college campus, do a couple of puppet shows, make new friendships and see some of the girls she met last year. She has been corresponding with one college-aged girl, a young believer, over the past year. A few months ago this friend, "Jessie," emailed her that she was "counting the days" until she returned to China. She is eager to meet with Jessie and others and encourage them in their faith. I am so excited for this opportunity for her!

Yesterday before we said our final "goodbye" I observed her from a distance. There are 15 students, the pastor and his wife, and our little Bethany. (I say "little..." she looked little to me!) I prayed silently that she would be seated with one of the other girls on the team and that she could start making some friendships with her teammates and not feel left out. The mother's heart in me was thinking of her comfort and her security, so I asked God to please help her have just the right seat mate for the flight to LA.

Well, she did have the perfect seat mate. When she called me from LA, she was bubbling with excitement about who she had sat by. She sat next to a 19 year old Chinese young man who attends university in the US, on his way home to Hong Kong for the summer. He is an atheist, as are his parents. Additionally, he is a science major. She said they had a wonderful discussion of his beliefs, and then she got to share her own, as she put it, "from creation to salvation!" She said he was incredibly interested in what she had to say and wants to stay in touch via email. She gave him some of the information she had with her, and he was very glad to have it. He said his parents would respect whatever he decided to believe. She gave me his name, "Han" and said, "Isn't it neat that people will be praying for Han and he doesn't even know it?" So, would you be praying for Han as he takes steps toward learning the Truth? I have prayed that God will continue to put believers in his path. (I have also prayed that he will see the movie "Expelled." :) So, I'm glad God didn't answer my prayer to put her next to a teammate on her first flight.

At this moment she is now somewhere over the Pacific. She's still not seated next to a team mate, but she said, "That's okay... I've got an aisle seat, and that's what I prayed for!" Would you please be praying for that little girl in aisle seat 51C, in a plane flown by Captain Phillip Thomas? (We always note the name of the Captain when he comes on the intercom, so we can pray for him and his crew specifically.) She will be arriving in her city sometime a little after 10:10 PM our time tonight.

Yesterday was also Kyle's 12th birthday! We celebrated Friday by going to see the new Narnia movie, and then had cake and presents over lunch yesterday before taking Bethany to the airport. We wanted to stay in the vicinity of the airport until she actually boarded the plane (which was about 3 hours later) so it was a perfect time to go to one of his Favorite Places On Earth: Bass Pro Shop. Here he is where I knew he would end up, the golf section:

From there we grabbed a bite to eat and then ended up at Barnes and Noble where I got a skinny latte and grabbed a beautiful copy of this month's National Geographic magazine featuring China, and this month's Christianity Today featuring articles about urban Christianity in China. There are fascinating articles about it here, here and here.

While we were at Barnes and Noble, sweet Bethany called to let us know she was in her seat on the plane. Once we left the airport area we headed to the hospital where Luke's sister and husband and our new niece are. Maylee was born this past Wednesday but is in the NICU due to respiratory problems. We each got to go in and see her, and for the second time that day I prayed over a precious little girl, trusting God to wrap His loving arms around her. Would you be in prayer for Maylee as well? Luke's sister checks out of the hospital today and they will be staying in a nearby hotel while they wait for their little one to be released.

We also finished all of the pictures for our photo book yesterday. That's the last "piece" of our adoption dossier that we need to compile before we send it to Africa this week. We took a family picture in front of our house with our family holding a big banner, "Welcome M______" Today I will be hanging that banner over his bed, and the thought occurred to me how cool that would be if someone brings that same banner to the airport in a few weeks (months?) when we come home with him. We're getting closer!

Thank you SO much for your prayers for our family. It seems we have so much going on right now! Every single one of them, though, is an answer to our prayers. God is so good.

Please pray for the girl in seat 51 C!!!


The Lloyd Family said...

:sniff sniff:

Made me cry.

I am so proud of your precious daughter. What a willing spirit. Love that.

We will pray for your baby in 51C all day.

Looking forward to updates.

I didn't realize Kyle and Fancy were SO close in age, she turns 12 May 21st.

Susanne said...

Oh Cyndi: She is one amazing 14 year old. I can see the Lord is already ordering her steps for China and she's barely on the plane. How exciting that you are raising a lovely young lady with a heart for missions!

Linda said...

You know that we are praying Cyndi. It really is hard to hold back the tears. God is doing such amazing things.
Now I'm off to look at some of those videos :-)

Deidre said...

Oh, I am so honored to be able to pray for your sweet daughter. I cannot wait to hear how God has used her life to minister to others and how He uses others to minister to her. He truly has a special plan for her life.

Such exciting things going on in your family. I'm so blessed to be able to read about it. I cannot wait for updates

Jessie's parents said...

We're praying, on all fronts! I have thought about and prayed for Bethany all day. And we would be honored to hold up that banner at the airport when you come home with your son!

baturi said...

hi cyndi! i saw this link on your fbook and thought i'd check it out.

i'll be praying for your sweet bethany. what an amazing young woman she is already! "how beautiful are the feet"!!