When we landed in Dubai, I was overjoyed and dead tired, but in stunned amazement when I stepped out to catch my first glimpse of the airport. If not the fanciest airport in the world, it is up there among the fanciest. Everywhere you look this airport has it all.... rolex clocks, granite floors and walls, silver chrome pillars, etc. It is a more modern 21st century airport, but very fancy. Why they chose to spend so much money into building this airport? I have no idea. Though, it goes to show you how far man goes in order to boast about having the best airport. Of all things, the best airport??? Yeah, it beats me.
Anyway, we efficiently made our way through customs and security with no problems. There initially was a long line to get through customs, but Dave G. with his intuitive capabilities coaxed one of the security people to let our team pass through customs in a different line with no wait. Success!!! And then, we made our way to a bus, which drove us to our hotel for the night. As we walked into the hotel, a few things seemed a bit strange. One, a sign for the swimming pool actually read 'swimming poo'. I didn't even try to ask why. Second, most of the beds were one single queen bed. If you know our team and the conversations that started once we heard this, you would understand why this was a major problem especially with a couple guys (I will not name names). And third, we seemed a bit out of place in this hotel, which is why I didn't dare ask about the 'swimming poo'. It seemed like all eyes were staring at us from every which way in every direction. I knew God was with us, but I had a strange insensitive feeling. Other than that, we checked in with no problems and had dinner. I ate with Kevin as we talked about the upcoming mission. We knew God was going to do some amazing things in and through us as with each member of the team. We were stoked as ever. We even asked each other what our parents would think if we stayed longer. Our response was simple.... they would not be happy and wishing beyond a doubt we be home, but thankful in a sense that we were obedient to God's call. It didn't happen to either of us or anyone else on team because each person felt God's call to come back home for a variety of different reasons. I will share my reasons later as these posts continue to unfold.
After dinner, it was time for debrief and prayer in Dave G. and Frankie's room (though I think in Dubai it was in Sam and Erin's room). No matter what, debriefing for any mission trip is basically sharing our highs and lows of the day. It is a time to share whatever God has placed upon our hearts that day.... good or bad. It is a definite intimate time within the group. I personally loved these moments because it was a time to just let God be God for us after a grueling day serving with all our heart on the mission field. We are tired, we are exhausted, we are cranky, we are worn down..... but God knows what is best for us in that particular time. And, we all would just let Him be God for us by comforting us, strengthening us, loving us, preparing us for what lies ahead in the next day... just the next day. Because, by day 8, my strength was literally on empty. I was only running on God's strength by then. It taught me how to let God be God for me in a time when I needed Him most. And, He kept pushing me forward. He never turned His back on me. He was completely faithful in it all. But, that is a story for later on. The debrief process for the Dubai overnite stay was pretty basic in a sense because most people had the same highs and lows. I said most people. The high for me was the anticipation of the trip and what God was/is going to do through us, while the low for me was not enough sleep on the plane. I had jet lag and was dead tired. Sleep could not come soon enough. After debrief, we had a time of prayer. That was very touching though. Our team can pray and knows how to pray. It was awesome to see us continue to unite through prayer as we prayed for what lies ahead for us in Uganda. Great time!!! Then finally, off to bed. I will start talking about my roommate soon. He is the best person I could have ever roomed with because we had some deep intense conversations late into the night almost every night even though he would go to sleep when I was in the middle of talking sometimes. I love him. His name is Richard.... Rico.... But most importantly, I call him Buddy. *big yawn* I am about to doze off. Sorry buddy.... I will talk about you in the next post segment. :D