Step 1. Cry
This can help you a lot. You can get a lot of sympathy when you’re a young 16 year old and probably the only one with blond hair in 5 miles.
So you guessed it. I tried to leave Bolivia today and now am stuck here for a few more days.
So I’m going through migration, almost missed my flight, but then all of sudden some Bolivian lady starting talking rapidly, and people start yelling at me.
Apparently there’s a document, no one told me I needed this ever. Not when I entered, not from my ministry. It’s quite complicated. So after about an hour of waiting, missing my flight, person after person yelling in Spanish, I finally went to the offices and talked to people in English.
May I add there’s no wifi in the airport…I had no way to contact my parents. After using the phone and convincing my dad to buy service for my phone, and buying a cinnabon to access wifi (I was desperate) I was able to contact my family and my host family. I figured out how to book a flight back to my city of Cochabamba. From there we will go to the immigration office and after this place to get the document, but to be honest I don’t know how long it will take to process.
I will never forget that moment when the lady said, “Oh you won’t be traveling at all today”
My heart dropped. I had everything planned out, but I wasn’t going home. What do you even do in that situation. When you don’t even know what to say in Spanish let alone English. It was in that moment that I started crying, it was probably more like sobbing, but everything seemed hopeless. It could be days, weeks. Would I even be home for thanksgiving. Why did no one tell me I needed this? How was I going to do this?
Step 2. Pray
I mean like vulnerable, real, desperate prayer. Where you don’t know what else to do, where it’s all you have. I think these are the best kind of prayers. Because after that, there was a person who spoke English. I went to the offices, got a guest pass, and got to use a phone to call my parents. Since there was no other option I figured out how to book a plane and go back to Cochabamba.
I think it was a God thing, I was able to talk to this lady. It began with small talk, but eventually became about my situation. I was able to share about God, and she started smiling. I think it encouraged her. I think my smile in this situation was exactly what she needed. Because a year ago today her daughter died. I don’t know how old, but I believe I was her daughter for the day. As we got off the plane, she held tightly to my arm. I was able to remind her to trust in him, that he will take of her daughter just the same way he will take care of me. In this time where I felt so very far from fine, I was able to still give a smile from heaven, a smile that wasn’t mine, but one that I could only give with strength that wasn’t mine. If all of this was for that one interaction it’s worth it, but I trust there is more.
Step 3. Laugh
There is one quote I try to live by, “If something bad happens just say, “Plot Twist” and move on.”
I’ve never felt that overwhelmed, but somehow about 3 hours later I just started laughing. I mean how great is this? I got locked out of America! That doesn’t happen every day. Now I can write a book, or make a movie. Because really, that’s how it seemed. No joke. Of course I had to buy a whole new flight with no refund. I decided that money doesn’t matter. It’s just money. It’s just some paper that we choose to give value. It’s just something in this world. It’s just something. I somehow feel God will make this work out. The chances of this happening are so rare it’s incredible. I guess I would ask you pray. Tomorrow I go to check what my options are. Although I’d love to go home I guess I want whatever God wants. If I need to stay here longer I will. Even though it’s hard, scary, overwhelming, stressful, it’s all worth it.
Because as FOR KING &COUNTRY says, “what great adventure ever turns out just the way you planned?”