A dear family from our church has offered SEVERAL times to donate frequent flier miles for our travel. We were a little hesitant for a couple of reasons. 1) Our agency books flights in "groups". Meaning, we will travel with a couple other families also adopting. We weren't sure we had the option to make our own travel arrangements. 2) 2 round trip tickets (and possible extra 1 way) to Africa has got to eat up a lot of miles. Who has that many miles? Would this families miles get us even from here to DC? 3) We will have about 10 days to book our flight (we think). Is this possible to do w/ FF miles? 4) Were this families FF miles even connected with Ethiopia Airlines? 5) What if financially we are counting on these miles, then find that we can't get a flight with them?
Well, we finally got around to asking our worker about it. She told us that it is possible. As much as it is nice to travel with the group for the sake of relationship, it is possible. We just have to be to Ethiopia at the time they tell us to be.
So we told the family that we got the okay from our agency to proceed. We also found out that indeed, their miles were in connection with Ethiopian Airline. We agreed that we would keep in touch on the issue. Well, she then contacted her Airline and was able to get more specifics. I won't bore you with the details. But pretty much, it goes like this: They have enough miles to get us 2 round trip tickets from Denver, CO to Africa! (I think maybe they bought their house on their credit card. :) ) They don't see much of a problem with the last minute issue. And now, rather than a straight through 20 hour flight (which is what it would have been going through our agency), it's 2 trips 10 hours each. We get to get out and sleep for a couple of hours in Germany or London. THIS IS HUGE!!!! The airfare portion of the travel can range in the $2-$3 K per person. Ouch. I'm not good with numbers, but I think that 2 round trip airfares covered by someone else's frequent flier miles is a pretty big chunk of change. Man, Jesus loves us.
So, to all who actually read this - please pray with us that the timing will work (meaning we can get a flight when needed without having to add too many days to our travel plans), Also pray that there will be frequent flier seats available. In my doubting heart, I tend to want to raise the travel money just the same .... just in case. But in the corner of my heart that holds that mustard seed - I think God has just answered a HUGE prayer...as now we are so very close to having all the money needed to make this all come together. Pray that my mustard seed will grow. Pray for wisdom to know if we should rest in this, or move forward with fund raising. (And I said I wasn't going to doubt about the money again....HA! Did anyone really believe that?)