How do I sum up an adventure that has changed my life? I hardly know where to begin or what to say, but I will do my best.
First off, I need to humbly say thank you. Thank you to my family, friends, and church: you all have launched me into this crazy and God filled experience because of your prayers, support, and love. I really can’t say thank you enough!
Next, I must say that the Lord has been guiding me, and all I am about to write is really His story, not mine. To God be the glory.
“I don’t think you will make it through.” The border patrol said to me, my mum, and my Grandma.
It was September 26, the day before my flight to Seattle, WA. We had been given the ok to cross the border to do errands and shopping for the day, but we had presented my information for the next day just to make sure I would get through when I had to catch my flight out of the Buffalo airport.
We handed over my documents and information to the guard, who looked startlingly similar to Jake Gyllenhaal, and he kindly but firmly stated that I would probably not be allowed through in the morning with the paperwork I had.
“It all depends. I’m not sure you can get through tomorrow.” The border patrol continued, “We might be able to find a loophole to get you through, but it all depends on the person you are speaking with tomorrow. At the very least you need to show up about three hours early because you’ll be sent over to immigration where they will talk with you.”
We asked a few more questions, said thank you very much, and proceeded on a tension filled shopping trip to the Buffalo Mall.
Emotions were all over the place during the next few hours. After the shopping trip we headed back to spend the night at my Grandparents, and we all tried hard to have a good perspective.
It was the night before, nothing else could be done. I thought I had what I needed, I’d done my homework, I had prepared, yet still I had come short of what I needed. We were all praying that God would get me through. He brought me this far, why would He turn me back now?
As I reflected during that evening, unable to do anything but wait how things would play out, I began to pray and talk with God about it. This is what I wrote in my journal that night:
“Jesus is so on this! It is nerve-wracking though.But even if I’m denied entry, and have to forego this amazing opportunity, I know He will lead and guide me. It would probably break my heart, but His will be done…Before all of this happened, I was losing sleep over anxiety of moving and meeting the people. Now I would give anything just to be with them! It feels nice not to be afraid of them, but It doesn’t feel so nice to have the prospect of not ever meeting them.”
I called Renee, the registrar at Serve Seattle, to let her know what was going on. She prayed with me, and told me: “Ruth, I’ve heard so many stories of border miracles. God’s gonna get you through and it’s going to be amazing!” Later I would come to know Renee as a woman who chases after crazy God-adventures and loves foreign Grandmas.
That night was full of prayer, hugs, and watching Jimmy Fallon to distract myself, all the while carrying on because we had to trust that God’s glory would be shown no matter what.
I woke up at 5:30 AM the next morning, put my bags in the trunk, and we drove back to the border. My mum held my hand as we drove, and no words were necessary for me to know that she was praying for me.
The border. There was only us and one other car in line at this hour in the morning. The guard was engaged but not meticulous in his questioning. We told the truth. No lies about what I was doing or where I was going. Yes, I’m staying with a mission. No, I’m not being paid. Yes, I am paying for my stay.
Then He let us through. Less than five minutes.
Don’t tell me this is coincidence or luck or a loophole, it was God!
Now, as if that wasn’t enough, there is more.
I arrive at the airport, and I suddenly realize I had mistaken my flight time. If I hadn’t left early to cross the border I would have missed my flight!
Also, this was two days after the Chicago Ohare’ incident, and I had a connecting flight from Chicago to Seattle. I was told that O’Hare was only 50% functional, and 2,000 flights were cancelled. Yet other than a little delay I had no complications!
Oh and to top it off I met a judge on one of my flights who was asking about what I was doing in Seattle, and He was all like “Go be a Mother Theresa and change the world!” He works in Portland with cases of abused children. We spent the next few minutes talking about service and caring for others. Beautiful!!
Then I arrived in Seattle, and the REAL adventure began. I will share more about these first two weeks…Stay tuned this weekend for part 2:)
Oh and Happy Thanksgiving Canada! I miss you all!