I was planning to hand the task over to the travel agent, but then one of the group said, “No you can’t do that, you must go up to the airport and God will provide your seat, whilst you are there. You must now exercise your faith and that is how the seat will come to you”.
Fear gripped me and my throat was dry. “What if I can’t get a seat…….”?
But I knew in my heart, there was no other option, I packed my overnight bag and left for the airport.
I approached the check-in counter and was dumbstruck at the length of the queue; people all waiting for a ticket. I stood there looking at the queue, completely bewildered. “Oh God”, I cried within, “Guide me please”.
Just then a member of the ground staff approached me, “Can I help you sir”, she asked politely. I told her that I was a missionary and how God had got me a car and I needed to go and collect it. I asked her please to help me to get a ticket and then I would wait however long it took to get a seat. “We stopped issuing standby tickets a while back“, she said, almost regretfully. “But follow me; I will see what I can do for you”.
Thirty minutes later, I was clutching my precious ticket.
“What now Lord”? I said. By this stage I was shaking from all the anxiety. I asked the two missionaries that had brought me to the airport to draw aside and pray with me.
After the prayer, a strange stillness came over me and I heard a voice from within. “Speak to the Captain”. I looked at my fellow workers, “God says I must speak to the Captain” I said it, as if I didn’t believe the words coming out of my mouth.
“Excuse me now, whilst l go and look for a Captain, please keep praying for me”. I said, very uncertainly.
I bade my fellow missionaries au revoir and preceded to a member of ground staff and asked, ‘Where do the crew members pass on the way to the aircraft’ she looked at me suspiciously and pointed to a passage on the one side of us. I hastily made my way to the passage and stood there, breathlessly waiting and not knowing what to expect.
Shortly, I heard voices and looking up I saw four uniformed crew members pulling their luggage trolleys. I recognized the Captain from his four striped lapels and approached him. I told him my story, explaining that God had said I must speak to him. He told me that they were a supernumery crew on route to collect a hired aircraft and therefore could not help me.
I said to God, ‘what must I do now’? Once again, I heard the voice, ‘Speak to the Captain’. So I stood, staring down the empty passage.
It must have been an hour later, when another group of crew members approached. Once more, I approached the Captain and told him what God had said. He looked at me, as if he had been waiting for us to meet and said, “Do you have a ticket’? ‘Yes, I do’. I handed him my ticket and he said, ‘Stay right here and I will send someone to collect you’.
He and his crew went off and I began to weep.
Not long after, a ground hostess shepherded me to the airplane. She led me to a compartment alongside the flight deck, which I recognised as that used by the crew for international flights as it had two bunk beds on the one side. There were no windows, but did I care? I sat on the bunk bed and began to give thanks to God.
Not long after start up, a hostess opened the door and led me to the flight deck, to be welcomed by the Captain and crew. I sat in what was called the ‘jump seat’ and enjoyed the most amazing flight of my life, being able to chat to the crew and see the world ahead from a grandstand view.
The young salesman met me at the airport; he was brimming with excitement as we hugged each other. I only had one question for him – “Where did the money come from”? I asked unashamedly.
“You will have to wait until we get to the showroom for that answer”. He replied with a mischievous grin.
I was never prepared for what met my eyes at the showroom. Executive members of the dealership were gathered around a table alongside this beautiful, brand new car. (An upgrade on the company car I’d had.) They shook my hand and invited me to join them. The dealer principle went on to explain to myself and the little gathering, how the young salesman had been so inspired by the work we were doing as missionaries, that he had decided to collect money from well-wishers and pay cash for my car. After obtaining permission from management he proceeded to establish a collections committee, who, in turn, over a two month period, had collected sufficient money to pay for the car. The dealership had committed to paying twenty per cent of the cost, if the committee could raise eighty per cent.
My mind was spinning in wonder of what a miraculous accomplishment this turned out to be.
Once all the clapping died down I stood to address this wonderful group of caring people.
I expressed my deepest gratitude to the group and all those, not present, who had made contributions.
I told them that this was indeed a great miracle, but I explained, that it was only part of the whole miracle. With this, I went on to give details about the story of, ‘Speak to The Captain’.
That day, God received a standing ovation and my prayers were answered.
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