They’ll Fly Away, Oh Glory!

Lamar received the call yesterday afternoon from the Embassy that said they were approved for a flight to the States. Thanks to everyone for praying with him for that.

They spent the evening in last-minute preparations and were ready to leave this morning at 7:00. I did some of the chores a little earlier so I could be ready in good time. I prayed specifically that God would give us clear passage there and back again. I also asked a few people in the States to be praying because I really didn’t want to be detained on the way home.

We were surprised to find quite a few people on the streets in Izcuchaca. It appeared that there was something of an open market on the one street, which the police were overseeing. There was no police check in Izcuchaca, which was a relief.

We saw several police checks on the way in, but only one stopped us. Lamar showed him the letter of permission to fly, and he passed us on very quickly. I counted half a dozen checks on the way to the airport, so I knew I’d be hitting those. Cusco was pretty well empty of any traffic.

We stopped at a fuel station across from the airport for Lamar’s to get out. There was quite a line of people on the streets, trying to get into the airport. The gates were locked shut from what I could see. After our farewells, Lamar, Juanita, and Joel got in line, wearing their masks to blend in with everyone else.

Lamar let us know that they made it to their flight and have already landed in Lima. They are fueling the plane there before heading to Miami, Florida. Once they arrive in the States, they will try to find flights out west to meet Beulah in Montana. They have no reservations, having only found out the flight info just now. Pray for Lamar as he works through all those details in the next number of hours.

On the way, I prayed again. I had my speech memorized in Spanish so that I wouldn’t say something dumb because of nerves. I came to the first police stop just up the street from the airport. Just as I got to them, the police noticed a tractor trailer that was doing something they didn’t like. They started hollering and waving to get the truck to pull off. As it was, that turned all of their attention the opposite direction from me. I rolled through without a hitch.

And that’s how every single police check except one went. Just as I’d pull up to the check, they’d notice another vehicle, and all the officer–six at one place–would go over to that vehicle, completely ignoring me. The only one not like that was in Poroy. There were no vehicles in front of me or coming from the other direction, but as I came through the check, I noticed all the officers were busy studying their clipboards. No one even looked up as I slipped between the cones. It was like I was invisible. Or maybe they just didn’t care.

I was greatly relieved that I didn’t have to use my prepared speech. I still feel amazed that I wasn’t stopped at all. I claim it as an answer to prayer. Thank the Lord for keeping me safe.

Once home, I made a few preparations yet before we sat down as a family, and I preached a sermon to my wife and children. That certainly felt odd. I recorded the message to share with our friends Alicia, Esmeralda, and Rafael via WhatsApp. Technology like that is a blessing in times of separation.

The summary of the message was the summary of the Sermon on the Mount. The two commandments of God are to love Him with all of our being and to love others as much as we love ourselves. Jesus closes that sermon by saying that many will call Him Lord and King and will do many wonderful works, but they will miss heaven entirely because they have not loved completely.

What a challenge! Jesus said He is the only door to get onto the road that leads to heaven. That way is the way of love. It is narrow and difficult, and He said many rather choose the easy way of selfishness, which leads to eternal destruction. A simple truth, but so profound and impossible without new life through Jesus.

In whatever way you wish others would love you, love them in that same way. How carefully am I living God’s Golden Rule?

Main Street of Cusco–empty