Tuesday, August 23, 2011

A Sad Parting... and a New Beginning

Continuing to catch up after the fact...
August 22, 2011

Mr. Beaver:
Today is the day... the day when I leave my sweet 18 year old 'baby' behind in a foreign land. The feelings have not changed - I still feel like someone has punched me in the stomach - but God is giving both Jaynie and me the grace to move forward anyway. And Joe is providing strength to us both. I can't imagine how Jaynie feels, but she is being very brave and cheerful... most of the time.

After one last breakfast together, we packed the car and prepared for a trip to the local airport. No overland journey this time. Due to the local holidays, Jake judged a charter flight was the only reliable way for Joe and I to head toward home.

Joe, Jaynie and I just before leaving for the airport
We drove out about 20 minutes beyond the end of town toward the local 'airport'. I put 'airport' in quotes because it's nothing more than a landing field in the middle of the desert. In fact, we missed the turn and had stopped to ask directions at a rare roadside stand when we saw the inbound plane fly over. We scurried back into the car and gave chase, finding the road by watching where the plane landed.

We had to drive about a kilometer off the main road to get to the landing strip, and, ironically it was a guarded landing strip. We were stopped by guards at a gate about 1000m from the plane. I think they stopped us for something to do. They put on a big show of not allowing us in, explaining to Jake (who understands the language) that theirs is a serious business as they guard about $180 million in airplanes. Ironically, the animated guard pointed to an old crashed jet as evidence of the value of the planes he is guarding.

Apart from our charter airplane, this was the highest value plane around
He made Jake get out of the car and take every bag out of the trunk. He searched each bag before finally letting us go. Meanwhile, Joe and I were watching the clock as we had no backup for missing our charter flight.

Eventually, the grumpy guard was satisfied and waved us through. Jake drove at car-destroying speeds over the remaining, rut-filled dirt road to help us catch our flight. The grumpy guard and the bumpy road also left us relatively little time for parting with Jaynie... perhaps a blessing in disguise.
Our charter plane was a real blessing
After a culture-bucking embrace with my dear daughter, Joe and I climbed into the plane and watched with interest as the pilots quickly and professionally prepared for take-off. We waved goodbye to Jaynie and Jake as our plane taxied out to the runway. Then the engines roared to life and we streaked down the runway to a perfect lift-off.

The Swiss pilots were very professional and congenial

The fun, new experience for Joe helped distract him from the moment of 'goodbye'
I will always, always remember the site of Jaynie and Jake standing there waving as we streaked by on take-off. As our plane quickly streaked into the sky, something else streaked down my face.

Joe and I were on our way home... and so was Jaynie... in a different direction. Jaynie will always be our precious daughter, but we have to admit she has begun something new now. This parting is the beginning of a new chapter that God has already written in Jaynie's life... and in our lives. We will take each next step, one-by-one, in simple faith, knowing that God works all things together for good to those who love Him, to those who are called according to His purpose.

We will always love you, Jaynie! We will always be here for you! We are so proud of you!



Aaron and Anna said...

Wow, Daddy, you write so well. That brought me to tears, I felt like I was right there with you. I am praying for you as you come home!

Johanna Marie said...

I'll definitely keep praying for your family. My parents let me be a homeschool helper for a few months in Haiti when I was 16, so I can kind of understand what you are going through. God really used my time in Haiti to help me grow spiritually in ways that I never would have in North America, but it was hard to be away from my family for several months...and around Christmas too! One verse that I thought of over and over as I was in Haiti was 2 Chorinthians 12:9 "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.' Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me." I felt weak without my family around me and in such a different culture, yet God's grace comforted me and enabled me to serve joyfully. God can do the same for Jaynie, too.

Michelle S said...

God has some amazing things in store for your family in these times of transition! Praying for each and every one of you to grow closer to the Lord and each other through these times!