The Bishop’s Blog: Getting Back To Basics in West Africa (Day 7)

It is 3:23PM and I am on a Kenya Airways Boeing 737 20,000 feet in the air somewhere between Monrovia, Liberia and Freetown, Sierra Leone and I just made a totally unexpected discovery…!
You know how a few days ago I shared in the blog how kewl I thought it was that the Lord impressed on me that the thematic focus for OHMIPF next year is, “Getting Back To Basics”? Well imagine my surprise when I happened to notice a message in my inbox moments ago from CT Pastors (CT = Christianity Today) announcing the latest edition of their newsletter. And just what is the title of this new edition? You guessed it: Back To Basics! What?!?! 
Needless to say I’m in airplane mode so am looking at messages that were received before take-off and discovered that the message was actually received at 1AM this morning. Hmmm, I wonder, did they have enough time read my blog from a few days ago, get inspired by the OHM theme and put together a whole newsletter devoted to it? 😄 Or could it be that “Back to Basics” is something that God is impressing on his leaders (his people) everywhere? All kidding aside, I find confirmations like this really super kewl!
Wow, in the time it took me to capture the above we’ve actually dropped down to about 30 ft…that is to say, we’ve landed in Freetown! Flying time was only 40 minutes and the plane seemed to be zooming! It got a bit bumpy going up through the clouds and then back down through them but when you’re zooming you aren’t going through for long.
When I say, “we’ve landed”, I mean both the generic (the plane and everyone onboard) and the specific (Bishop Wennie and me, see picture). He and I arrived at the airport outside of Monrovia at around 12:30PM so had a comfortable 2 hours to get our boarding passes, clear immigration and security and get to the gate—all of which we did in like 30 minutes! All of this after getting up this morning at 8AM, packing, showering (the water in room 106 is A LOT better than in 110—the room I was supposed to be in…it’s consistently hot with great pressure…love it!), dressing and packing.
Bishop Wennie and I had a great chat while we waited but the best chat was probably with my Lady Jai. I called just to check in and we wound up talking for 45 min! She was excitedly sharing about her recent bible study and journaling experience and got me excited—especially because there were lots of similarities to what I’ve been teaching and preaching since I arrived in Africa! I think we both enjoy just having a good talk with each other. Even separated by 7 thousand miles it was good to have some unexpected hang time.
Ghana…traffic! We landed safely about an hour and a half ago (it’s 9PM now) and were greeted by Pastor Damptey and Pastor/Evangelist Odoi and his wife. (Apostle Azalekor was stuck in traffic so was going to meet us at the hotel—which we reached less than 30 minutes after leaving the airport.)
The flight from Freetown to Accra was uneventful (which means it was a great flight!). When I’d checked Bishop Wennie and me in online this morning (I snatched a few minutes online on my phone while the internet was working!), I’d used a technique that my Lady Jai turned me on to: I found an empty row of three seats and reserved the aisle and the window. Since people tend to avoid the middle seat when they have other options, the likelihood is high that it will remain open and the two of you will have more room to spread out.  It worked! We had plenty of room between us with that open seat. Leg room…not so much!
I actually watched a movie for almost the entire flight: Gifted  (with Chris Evans and Octavia Spencer). It wasn’t an outstanding movie as movies go but definitely had me ready to bawl a few times. I definitely recommend it!
Settling in at the hotel now. The Tulipn Inn has become my regular home in Ghana. (Recall that I got turned on to it several years ago when I was unexpectedly stranded here on Thanksgiving Day. It has been a blessing ever since.) We met briefly with Pastor Damptey and the team, thanking God for our safe arrival and committing what we hope will be a productive visit to his providence. Then we all chilled for a few minutes before our Ghana team bid us good night. Gonna get something to eat and then turn in. I am suddenly exhausted! Tomorrow it’s back to work!
Thanks for your prayers!
Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone