The Mission

Expect the unexpected I glanced at my watch as I waited in line to move through the airport security. It was was 6:35 in the evening. The flight was leaving at 7:05. I had already been through a torturous hour of stop and go traffic; would I make it to the gate before the flight took off?

I woke up on Thursday morning praying for Robert and the team of HQ staff down in Big Sandy, Texas, hosting this year’s first AIT Regional Conference. Unlike the past two years, it hadn’t worked out for me to go along to help out and take pictures. But it was a good time to catch up on projects in the office.

Then, at 3:06 in the afternoon, I got a call from Robert. With an excited voice thick with mystery, he asked if I was ready to set out on a special mission. He explained that some materials were desperately needed at the Conference. It was less expensive to fly someone down with them than to to ship them over-night to Big Sandy. Would I be willing to be the one to fly them down? Plans were finalized and a ticket purchased by 4:30 when I ran home to pack. It was 5:30 before we were actually on the road to the airport.

It was relieving to see the 7:05 departure time replaced with 7:45 when I arrived at my gate. But the relief was only temporary. As people lined up to board the plane, I heard an announcement over the intercom: “Due to flight delays, connecting flights in St. Louis to Dallas have been canceled. If you’re heading to Dallas, please report to the information desk.”

“What are my options?” I asked. Either I could fly out on a new flight tomorrow, or stay at a hotel in St. Louis for the night and catch the first plane out in the morning. With five minutes to decide, I dialed Robert’s cell phone in an attempt to get some direction. Chances were slim; he had informed me earlier that everyone’s cell phones were dead and reception was spotty, if present at all. I prayed hard. After a few tense seconds, I rejoiced to hear David Waller’s cheerful voice. I found out later that he happened to be be walking by Robert’s recharging phone, heard it ringing, and followed the prompting to answer it. I’m grateful to the Lord he did. “Go for it!” he said.

The Hilton I stayed out in St. Louis The room was quite comfy

Everything worked with relative relaxation after I boarded the plane to St. Louis. I got to there on time, made my way to the hotel, slept soundly, woke early, and made the morning flight without incident. The packages of materials made it through the transportation maze just fine too. At 2:00 on Friday afternoon, less than 24 hours after the initial call, I informed Robert that the materials had arrived. The mission was complete!

The Amazing Way book display tableStudent sessionsAn bright family enjoying the ConferenceSpecial music . . .

 . . . by the choir . . . . . . and by the Duggar Family!

Big Sandy is like a big reunionThe video crew working tirelessly behind the scenes!


  1. Jamie Parfitt May 3, 2010 at 7:47 am #

    I went to college at Big Sandy when it was Ambassador College. Did you get any pictures of the outside? The part about answering the phone was a great testimony of God’s timing!

  2. Crystal May 3, 2010 at 8:37 am #

    That’s an amazing story of God’s perfect timing!

  3. Matthew May 3, 2010 at 4:28 pm #

    The Character quality of Thriftiness was recently studied by our church group during a Sunday afternoon.
    You definitely applied this quality by wisely using the resources God had given you to accomplish his purposes.
    Thanks for giving a real life example of a recently learned concept.

  4. Jonathan May 5, 2010 at 5:00 pm #

    That is an amazing story James; Although I had already heard it you did a good job making it exciting.

  5. Michael May 5, 2010 at 5:14 pm #

    Go James! How encouraging to see you ready and willing to receive whatever the Lord has for you to do.

  6. James May 6, 2010 at 12:09 pm #

    Praise the Lord it went as well as it did! I’m glad it worked out that Mr. Gothard needed someone to carry out the mission.

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