So forgive me, now that it has passed (and I have another praise report if you read to the end) and I'll recap the story for you.
Friday morning (yes the day after the Red Sea) I got this email:
I was advised by Air France this morning that if you board the aircraft in Kiev on Ukraine International, that you will indeed be denied boarding by Air France in Paris.
I am simply forwarding the email to you that was sent to me this morning as Air France is now aware of the new ticket as they check records and have found that Kataryna was ticketed by Delta.
Katia had been blacklisted.
This was the first of a series of emails , voice mail and phone calls with Andrew and Air France detailing why our girl could not fly and they all hit me like a sucker punch. I didn't even get the emails till late in the day and had many conversations with Andrew. Even though he didn't sell the ticket to me (Matthew at Delta did), they knew I had worked with him and contacted him to be in touch with me. He hated being the bearer of bad news to me and advised me to leave Air France alone and that this was a final decision from them. Any other attempts to change this action originating from Kiev would only make matters worse.
As I arrived at the hospital to break the news to Heather, she simply said "I think this is more of the Red Sea Gord. This is what you called it, and I think we are meant to go through it (Air France)." I dont know how but I really think we should go forward."
We so need each other, and I found myself encouraged by these words from my wife. Prior to this, I was thinking about a lawyer I could call, maybe contacting some government officials and getting my backup when I should have remembered this:
13 And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. 14 The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”
The day continued with busyness sending messages, emails, faxes and due diligence but with peace. Brianna stayed the night with Heather so it was me & the boys trekking back to the apartment together, tired & hungry at night. The boys were full of energy having bought some toys they saved up for while (any of you 6-10 y olds know Hero Factory?). I got some food together and regained some energy. It wasn't hard resisting getting on the computer as I was just not looking forward to it at all. I was actually dreading it. Should I be calling people to pray? Should I post a prayer request? Yes Lord you parted the waters, but I hear the sound of chariots behind me, and they are real!
After putting the boys to bed though, I braved the laptop. I figured my first call should be to Air France as a voicemail was left to me requesting a reply. Bracing for another marathon at 9:40 pm, I called, finding at the other end (without being out on hold at that) was a person with a heavy french accent quite willing to make things work for me. Our conversation lasted 15 min. Bottom line was: find Katia an FAA approved carseat that is less than 44 cm wide and you can fly. All flags removed.
What a load that was lifted! Apparently there had been some mis-communication about how we would travel and word got to the top of Air France that we only could travel with Katia in our lap (as a developmental 1 yr old). Law states that she should be ticketed and in her own seat as a 7 year old and Air France put their foot down. The medical documents proving her handicaps were irrelevant, and some other factors inflamed the situation, but her seat was the issue. I called Heather with the good news and began my search for a car seat. How hard could that be?
Well, in a country that doesn't even require safety belts to be worn much less car seats, I found out how difficult that was. Let me fast forward to the day today (because it took that long- I did sleep that night though) at 6:10 pm we were the proud owners of an aircraft approved, 41 inch wide car seat. It is pictured above in the foreground on the right in plastic. This is a story in itself, but I'll just say it could not have been possible without the help of Helen, Anton (our driver), Daniella at Kiddy (who helped me from the US being "off duty" while the familiar sounds of her kids in the background filled our conversation), Andrew, Christine (ever willing and generous pastor at our church here-ICA), and our great God who weaves all these elements together and parts the seas.
Want to hear another blessing? I originally called Christine to send out an email blast to the church if anyone has a car seat not in use, and they blessed us with the purchase of the car seat in entirety! Thank you so much, and may you receive much fruit from your ministry to us and others(Eph4:14-20)!
Date: September 9, 2012 12:03:02 AM GMT+03:00
To: "firstname.lastname@example.org" <email@example.com>
I am glad to hear that great news, I wish you and Kataryna Elise a very good trip back in the USA !
The Song of Moses
Then Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the Lord, and spoke, saying:
“I will sing to the Lord,
For He has triumphed gloriously!
The horse and its rider
He has thrown into the sea!
2 The Lord is my strength and song,
And He has become my salvation;
He is my God, and I will praise Him;
My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.
3 The Lord is a man of war;
The Lord is His name.
4 Pharaoh’s chariots and his army He has cast into the sea;
His chosen captains also are drowned in the Red Sea.
5 The depths have covered them;
They sank to the bottom like a stone.
6 “Your right hand, O Lord, has become glorious in power;
Your right hand, O Lord, has dashed the enemy in pieces.
7 And in the greatness of Your excellence
You have overthrown those who rose against You;
You sent forth Your wrath;
It consumed them like stubble.
8 And with the blast of Your nostrils
The waters were gathered together;
The floods stood upright like a heap;
The depths congealed in the heart of the sea.
9 The enemy said, ‘I will pursue,
I will overtake,
I will divide the spoil;
My desire shall be satisfied on them.
I will draw my sword,
My hand shall destroy them.’
10 You blew with Your wind,
The sea covered them;
They sank like lead in the mighty waters.
11 “Who is like You, O Lord, among the gods?
Who is like You, glorious in holiness,
Fearful in praises, doing wonders?
12 You stretched out Your right hand;
The earth swallowed them.
13 You in Your mercy have led forth
The people whom You have redeemed;
You have guided them in Your strength
To Your holy habitation.
14 “The people will hear and be afraid;
Sorrow will take hold of the inhabitants of Philistia.
15 Then the chiefs of Edom will be dismayed;
The mighty men of Moab,
Trembling will take hold of them;
All the inhabitants of Canaan will melt away.
16 Fear and dread will fall on them;
By the greatness of Your arm
They will be as still as a stone,
Till Your people pass over, O Lord,
Till the people pass over
Whom You have purchased.
17 You will bring them in and plant them
In the mountain of Your inheritance,
In the place, O Lord, which You have made
For Your own dwelling,
The sanctuary, O Lord, which Your hands have established.
18 “The Lord shall reign forever and ever.”