Archives for February 2, 2023

A Thrilling Return to Grand Rapids!

Yesterday morning I was privileged to preach again for The Master’s University, 1,100 students in California (photo taken just before chapel)—this time on “Following God Fully” (Num. 14:24). Immediately afterward, my faithful and kind chauffeur, Jonny Ardavanis, who became a new friend this week, drove me to the Los Angeles airport as my scheduled flight from Burbank to Dallas and then on to Grand Rapids had been canceled.

I managed to catch my new flight to Denver on time, but then we got stuck in Denver for six hours as mechanics tried in vain to get a faint green light on one wing to shine brighter. After assuring us three times that the problem was fixed (or nearly fixed?), we were asked to leave the plane after three hours, taking our luggage with us. A few hours later, they told us that every attempt to get the green light to burn brighter had failed, but another plane was arriving in less than an hour that we could swap with. By the time we were finally able to board that plane, the Denver airport had a rare security breach, which shut down the entire airport, so the people who had already boarded our new plane had to disembark from this plane as well.

Meanwhile, the pilot told us that if the airport personnel didn’t catch whoever had caused the security breach very soon, our crew could no longer fly due to federal aviation laws as the crew would have then been working too long. Our wheels had to be off the runway by 11:50 p.m. sharp, he said. By God’s grace, just in time, they did catch the culprit, the airport re-opened, and we rushed onto the plane faster than I’ve ever seen a plane board before. The pilot sped down the runway, getting the wheels of our plane off the ground ten minutes before the deadline!

The plane landed at 3:15 a.m. in Grand Rapids and was I ever glad to see my Queen again (she had arrived in Grand Rapids from Alberta about seven hours before me, as she had been helping our daughter in Alberta for the last ten days after the birth of our grandchild). Meanwhile, I had spoken to a needy Christian mother in Denver who was flying with us to Grand Rapids to visit her 31-year-old son, who had been diagnosed with a severe form of brain cancer. I had spent time counseling and praying with her, but since she had no ride to her son’s house at this time of the morning, Mary and I took her to his house. We finally arrived home, dropping into bed at 5:00 this morning. So, by God’s grace alone, I was able to make my teaching commitments at PRTS today after all. God is so good!