Once again the three pastors were at the hotel on time, so we all returned to my room. I had an update to share regarding the Feast and our budget, so we were able to talk about that a little bit.
The final point I wanted to take some time to discuss is the matter of anointing. Based on what we had seen while here, it seemed appropriate to talk a bit more about what anointing is, when it should be done and a little about how to go about it. I know that when I was first ordained an elder, I had been anointed for an illness or injury in the past, but it is a whole different thing to start doing it! And no one talked with me about how to do it, so it was a somewhat awkward learning curve for me.
I’d thought about this in the past when I’ve been privileged to ordain an elder, and I have written out some thoughts and instructions on anointing for those men. It needed to be edited a little bit, but I took that same basic letter and put I together for our pastors in Ghana. I hope it will be of some help to them.
It had been my intention to end by noon, but we were actually done by 11:30, so we all shook hands until next time and I let them each begin their journey’s home.
I was able to arrange for a little later check-out, so we each had a little more time to work in our rooms. That gave me the time to catch up on some emails and a few other things that I’d had to put off due to not enough time.
By 2 pm we were both downstairs and I settled the bill. Our driver was to arrive by 3 pm, but very unusual for him, he was nearly half an hour late. No worries, we had plenty of time.
Yesterday we got a notice that a protest had been scheduled for today in Accra. It is a political protest against a government official who is accused of abusing his office, and authorizing the use of a few billion Ghanaian cedis that he didn’t really have the authority to use. As such protests were being organized to demand his resignation (and perhaps jail time, I don’t know).
The alert from the US State Department warned that there would be protests, quite a bit of extra police presence, and they are expecting the normal ridiculous traffic to be even an even more snarled and tangled mess.
We were praying about it, and I sent a message to our driver asking if he felt this would impact our travel plans, and should we try to leave earlier. However, before our driver could even respond to me a news report came out that for some reason the protestors had decided to delay their protest for a week. It is always encouraging to know our God knows where we are on these trips, and what we need. He provided the answer and removed the potential problem before it could even begin!
We were able to check in smoothly, breezed through passport control and security (which is certainly not always the case!) and had time to go to the Sanbra Lounge. I’ve been using this lounge in Accra for quite a few years. It costs a few bucks to get in, but it has wifi, snacks and something to drink if you wish, comfortable chairs and clean restrooms. When one has an hour or two to wait (and I don’t like to get there at the last minute), it is a much nicer place to wait than sitting on the hard chairs somewhere out by a gate.
When it was time to board, we checked in and got our seats. It was a completely full aircraft! There was a family near me who was separated, and they wanted the children to be able to sit close to them (understandable). But there were no empty seats to move anyone to, so the flight attendants were playing a giant game of tetris, trying to see who could move to allow the children to sit close to the parents. It was trying, but they seemed to get it worked out, and we pushed back and headed for Amsterdam.
I am not a good sleeper on a plane, but this time I dropped off shortly after we got in the air, and didn’t wake up until we were over southern France! That’s amazing for me, but I sure felt better after sleeping the majority of this 6 ½ hour flight!
In Amsterdam we went to the Delta lounge because my frequent flyer status would allow me in, and I was able to bring Paul in with me. We got some coffee and a little to eat, talked and worked a little more.
This is the point we separate in our travels home. He flies from here to Seattle while I fly to Atlanta. His plane took off a bit before mine, so we shook hands and he headed off to his gate. I worked a little longer before doing the same thing.
My flight to Atlanta was scheduled to be 8 ½ hours. We were delayed a little because of an issue with some of the cargo, but the pilot assured us he’d be able to make the time up in the air, and he did!
On this flight I dozed a little more, but read for the majority of it. I was able to finish one book and got a good way into another before it was time to get off in Atlanta.
Here I had about 3 ½ hours layover, so headed to the Delta lounge there to log in and get more work done. I worked pretty steadily, and plowed through quite a few emails and other items that needed to be done. I also got some food and something to drink – but it couldn’t be coffee this time. If I drink coffee later in the afternoon I don’t sleep well that night. That’s a bummer, but I guess that’s what my body has decided it is now going to do.
The last flight is a 90 minute ride from Atlanta to Fayetteville. I had gotten bumped up to 1st Class on this flight, which gave me more room and a bit more comfortable seat. My seatmate was a rather interesting fellow. He was flying in to conference with Walmart people. His company specializes in supply chain management, specifically the software involved in making the entire massive supply chain work.
As one of the founders of the company, he flies all over the world, talking with manufacturers, and big name players like Walmart, Nike, Target and several others I recognized. In the course of the conversation he mentioned that he now has over 3 million frequent flyer miles with Delta. Wow. I thought I was getting quite a few racked up, but compared to this fellow I’m small potatoes! That’s OK, I don’t even want to be away from home enough to build up that many miles!
We landed smoothly and on time. Coming down the escalator to baggage claim I immediately saw the smiling face of my lovely bride, and our grandson with her! So good to see them again! We got my suitcase when it came off and headed back to the house.
Another trip is now in the books. It was productive, and I hope encouraging for the brethren in both Ghana and Nigeria. For those who read along with me, thank you for your interest, and for your prayers.Until next trip…