My first and second times in an airplane were international flights. Both times I flew from Minnesota through Houston and onto Guatemala City for mission trips. The first trip was a huge success and had gone smoothly. I had come to love the Guatemalan people, so when I felt compelled to go back less than a year later, I was excited, but more than a little nervous. It was 1991, and the United States had just issued a warning about Americans flying anywhere internationally. We were in the throes of Operation Desert Storm, and the U.S. Government couldn’t guarantee my safety should I chose to fly.

So what was so important about this trip anyway? Why would I risk traveling under these guarded conditions?

During my first trip to Guatemala, I had fallen in love with the missionary kids. There were two families working together at the time, and they had eight children between them. I was a new youth pastor’s wife, and the teen’s commitment to help their parents coupled with the loneliness of their location had captured my heart. We had stayed in contact, and by this second trip about nine months later, I had collected some of their favorite American things to bring to them: candy bars, pringles, peanut butter, and clothes.

I absolutely knew I was supposed to go down and help with this mission trip, but I was still a little scared.

I remember riding to the airport that morning. We were just over halfway there, and I had been praying under my breath about my fear. Like a lightning bolt to my heart, I got a revelation from God: Just like you are in charge when you hold a paper airplane, I am in charge of this jet today. Nothing can remove you from my hand. And my fear was gone. I knew that my obedience to God had secured me, and that I would be safer in Guatemala that week than in my own home.

As a girl, I told God many times that I would do whatever He wanted me to do with my life. I will go where You want me to go. I will say what You want me to say. I will do what You want me to do. I will be what You want me to be. And I meant it.

Every day, every experience, is another chance to walk it out…