Thursday, May 14, 2009

Back to reality

It's time to blog about the other side of life....all those questions that I've been avoiding. The reality is that I'm leaving for the U.S. in less than 3 weeks.

But before I explain further, here is the story about my plane ticket.

My visa expires June 1st, so there is no flexibility about when I have to be out of Russia. However, I have been very busy lately. I can keep up with daily commitments, but it is very hard to find time for things that require a lot of thought, like travel plans, e-mails, and phone calls.

So I had grabbed a few minutes here and there to look up plane tickets on Expedia, but didn't have time to sit down and order them.

About a week ago, I found a nice price on tickets through British Airways. But I didn't purchase them. I'm not a "right away" kind of person, especially if a large sum of money is involved. I also do not like to abandon prior commitments just because something else has come up.

So I put "order plane tickets" on my list of things to do when I found the time. And I prayed each day for that opportunity to surface.

A few days passed, and I sat down to make the purchase. But when I looked at the search results, the price had gone up by $200+. I was really mad that I hadn't bought them earlier. And to make matters worse, June 1st seemed to be the cut-off. The tickets for June 2nd were still selling for the cheaper fare. But I could not leave even a day later. I wanted to take my stupid visa and rip it up.

So I decided to wait a little longer to see if anything would change. And I prayed about it. You know, it wasn't even so much about the money as feeling guilty. I had set my priorities carefully, but it felt like I was being punished for being indecisive or disorganized.

Yesterday morning I prayed one more time and sat down to settle the matter. When I checked online, the price had gone down $100. That seemed like an answer, so I got ready to make the purchase. But I decided to click "refresh" one more time. A message popped up announcing a price change notification. The tickets had gone back to their original price. I had to laugh.

So God answered my prayers. Thanks to everyone else who was praying, too.

I know that plane ticket prices go up and down on certain days, and it seems almost like playing the lottery. But God is still in control. Proverbs 16:33 says, "The lot is cast into the lap, but its every decision is from the Lord."


To Be Continued...

10 comments:

  1. Liz, those sites operate on a cookie-based thing. They know when you visit them the first time, so they offer you the cheapest ticket, and then, they put the same ticket for a hire price, simply because you visited them the 2d and the 3d time. Nothing misterious about it. No prayers needed.

    If you want to find REALLY cheap tickets, go to:

    http://www.cheapoair.com

    I used them in the past. Very cool.

    But if you want to buy a ticket while talking to a real person who can get a very good deal for you, go to:

    www.goldenruletravel.com

    It's a mennonite travel agency and they do get great ticket prices for missionaries.

    By the way, sorry to hear about you going back home. I mean, part of me is happy, because you will more effective here, but then the other part of me is sad because of your loss. But it is not a loss.

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  2. I am very happy for your answer!

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  3. Vitali, in my case prayer was needed, because I don't know about cookies and all that. Thanks for the link. I think I have actually used that travel agent. However, the missionaries fares recently have been higher than what I've found on the Internet.

    And I'm not leaving Russia for good. But I'm leaving for longer than I expected.

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  4. Nah... come home for good. I am not trying to be funny or anti mission work here. There's so much to do here, in YOUR own country. Trust me there's so much to do here. And... you will operate with so much fexibility here. No need for any extra effort. Just think about it! Just because America has churches on every corner doesn't mean it is all well in here. Nothing is well in here. You should leave your area up north and come down south. Florida, Alabama, Louisiana - I tell you, you can work here day in and day out and still you will have so much more to do. All that stuff about being in love with Russia is a fantasy. And you know it. Russia will be OK. China will be OK, even the Muslim world will be OK. There are plenty of Russians and others in the US who come here as students and would love to have American friends.

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  5. That is good news! I am a waiting kind of person myself and don't like to rush into things hence, I haven't bought a plane ticket or applied for a visa yet.

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  6. What a great story! Unlike V, I am sorry you have to come home.... For how long?

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