Written by Julie and Diana
Ty, Joi, the three children, Diana and Julie all left Blacksburg on
January 10th with a very full minivan and a trailer behind loaded with
8 large shipping containers, 1 bicycle and 7 suitcases headed for
Dulles International Airport. After the 5 hour drive we stopped at the
National Air and Space Museum (right next to the airport) to stretch
our legs and let the kids run around.
We got to the airport where we met up with Nancy. Nancy is 19 and is
spending the next few months helping out at City of Hope, especially
with the Hopkins kids. (She will introduce herself a bit more soon!)
It was quite a process to get 8 people checked in and 17 pieces of
luggage checked! But we finally made it to our gate and to our first
flight to Paris, which thankfully was an uneventful 8-hour flight!
Then came Paris…
Paris was not as uneventful! For whatever reason, we were not able to
get our boarding passes for the flight from Paris to Nairobi when we
were in DC. One very important lesson: you can’t go anywhere in an
airport without a boarding pass! We were concerned that if we couldn’t
get the boarding passes in time we would miss our flight, which
would’ve caused a multiple-day delay. After getting sent in different
directions by at least 4 different airport attendants, going up
escalators, down hallways, on one tram and a bus, we finally made it
to the international transfer desk and made it to our gate with just
minutes to spare. (Along with many other people which we found out
were in the same boat!) Joi was deeply disappointed to miss her chance
to eat a bona fide Parisian croissant.
Then once we were on the plane, we had to wait for a passenger coming
from a delayed flight and sat for an hour and a half before taking
off! Diana really enjoyed having a spiritual conversation during the
flight with an African Catholic nun sitting by her. So after another
long flight we landed in Nairobi much later than anticipated.
Thankfully, the immigration line was shorter than Ty and Joi had ever
seen it, and we were able to get through very quickly!
However, we were some of the last people to leave baggage claim
because of how long it took to get our 17 pieces of luggage, one of
which (the baby stroller) never showed up! The drivers who picked us
up performed a miracle getting all of our luggage into a small van and
a car! So, the flight landed at 11pm, and we didn’t leave the airport
until 1:20am! Needless to say, we were all exhausted by the time we
got to the guesthouse and everybody ended up getting almost 10 hours
We spent Sunday resting and re-packing while Ty ran some errands in
the city, and we leave for Tanzania on a charter flight Monday
“Now to Him who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that
is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do
superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think
[infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or
dreams]—To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout
all generations forever and ever. Amen (so be it).” Ephesians 3:20-21
Julie is spending the next three months in Tanzania with the Hopkins
as a mission intern. She is 23 and lives in Radford Virginia, working
as a server at Olive Garden. She is taking the next three months to
work at City of Hope with the Hopkins, seeking the Lord and some
clarity for what the future holds for her. She recently graduated with
a degree in Women’s Ministry and is excited to see what opportunities
she will have to use it.
Diana is Joi’s mom and a 63 year old mother of 3 and grandmother of 7.
She is at City of Hope to help out in whatever way she can. She is
praying that God will soften her heart to other cultures and their
other ways of life, and wants to develop more of a heart of compassion
for third world cultures. She is excited to see how God will transform her heart through this experience.