Joel and Uncle Cliff had a great flight from St. Louis to Ft. Lauderdale on Saturday. Then yesterday they had a great flight from Ft. Lauderdale to an island that is part of the Bahamas (south of the Bahamas) called Long Island...a place called Stella Maris there. They landed, were going to refuel, and head out again to their final destination for yesterday, the Dominican Republic. Joel had mentioned some possible weather issues that might meet them there and make them stay in Stella Maris for the night. So, when he stopped there yesterday, I just had to assume that maybe the weather had kept them from continuing. When they didn't resume travel this morning (according to our trusty Spot), I was disappointed that apparently the weather wasn't quite up to par again. I was keeping an eye on the website that tracks their progress, but there was no change.
Then I got a call around noon today. It was Joel. He was calling me from Nassau. What? Nassau? That's not where he was supposed to be.
He explained that yesterday as they were checking the plane before heading on to the Dominican Republic, they found that one of the magnetos had stopped working. No, I don't know what a magneto is either, but it's important. Thankfully the plane has two, so the one was sufficient for them to not have any problems in the air. Oh man, God is so with them. But, they were grounded.
And Stella Maris was a great spot for them for what they had needed it for...a perfect place to land, refuel, and keep going. But...now they couldn't keep going. And unfortunately, Irene was not so nice to that island, so all their phone lines and electricity is down. Wow...ok. :)
So, they prayed about what to do. This morning they felt the best decision was for Joel to take a commercial flight (on Pineapple Airlines...love the name) back to Nassau...also part of the Bahamas, about a 25 minute flight back. So, he arrived there and found that he couldn't really get much help there. But, he was able to talk to Wings of Hope back in St. Louis. It's funny...the plane is a 1959 plane and is working fine. But, the brand new magneto is what gave them problems. :) Anyway, Wings of Hope said that they were going to send them a new part ASAP...but, that will still be 2-3 days from now that it will arrive, at the least. But, we are very thankful that they are going to send that $700 part ASAP, no hesitation. I like that organization more and more. :)
Uncle Cliff didn't travel back to Nassau, so he is still there in Stella Maris. And, since the phones and electricity is down there, Joel has no way of getting in touch with him to let him know what's going on. But, Uncle Cliff's personality is a bit like Joel's...very relaxed, not one to get in a tizzy about *any*thing, very full of faith that God's purposes are being fulfilled even when we don't have any idea what those purposes are or what's going on. So, when Joel left, Uncle Cliff just told him, "Well, I'll see you when I see you."
But, just pray for the part to get there without any problem, as quickly as possible. Pray also for Uncle Cliff as he waits with no word...or that a way would open up for word to get to him. Pray for their continued safety as usual, and for God to continue to provide for their every need.
It was funny. Joel said that when they were flying in, they had remarked that they'd love to just come back there someday alone...to spend a few days there and really spend time with God, etc. After the problem was discovered, they were saying that God heard that and said, "Hmm, how 'bout now?" ;)
So, I hope they are getting some great time in a beautiful place, listening to and soaking up God. I'll keep you posted.