For God so loved the world, that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish, but have eternal life. (John 3:16 WEB)
After flying for two days, and what seems like a thousand hours, a traveler will arrive at the airport on the island of Guam. It was our family’s first international trip. It was our family’s first air flight. When we departed the USA we were filled with excitement. When we arrived we were dried out from the air conditioning and exhausted from the hours of boredom in a small tube flying at breakneck speeds across a seemingly endless ocean.
As we dragged ourselves off the airplane we searched for signs of life in each others eyes and movements. We immediately felt the hot humid air of the tropics. The first ones to show signs of revival were Ellice and Joel. How they can retain such energy at such unexpected times is amazing. Then again at three and five years of age they can sleep quite well in the small airplane seats. They were ready to start their new life as missionary children bringing the Gospel to the world.
We worked our way through the corridors and past immigration. We entered the baggage claim area filled with local residents returning and vacationing travelers arriving. Ellice looked around and studied the many and varied faces most of which were dark compared to her family. Her young thoughts made a leap in logic from entering a foreign airport to preaching the Gospel to China and an idea came to her head.
At the top of her lungs she started singing, “Jesus loves me, this I know.”
People quickly turned to look in her direction then to find her parents, us, to see what the ruckus was about. Since we were there to teach about Jesus she wanted to get started as soon as possible. We quieted her down just a bit and quickly searched for our numerous bags to escape the glaring eyes of other sleep deprived passengers.
Years later Ellice reminded me of that first day. She wrote me, “I don’t know how much detail you are going in to but I remember that first night, because Rachel Ruth took me to her car, and told me that we were going to be friends forever. She was the first friend that I remember and my best friend all the way through high school.”
A new life began, took shape and molded us over the years. Looking back we wonder at God’s hand working in and through our lives. At times we need to just shout out the truth and see who is listening. God’s message of salvation is timeless and always appropriate, even in baggage claim.