God’s faithfulness – getting to Shanghai Pudong Airport
Since I find myself in Panera once again this afternoon with a whole afternoon to just write or read or do whatever, I thought I would update you all on exactly what happened as we left China and began our in-transit (read homeless) life on our way to Portland. Given that the past three weeks to a month have been intense (to say the least), I’m going to split this up into readable chunks so as to not overwhelm you with a two thousand word post (scarily, I have found myself capable of writing them…). First, getting to the airport to leave China and fly back to the United States.
As you may or may not know, we flew out of Shanghai Pudong Airport on Monday, January 24th, exactly five months to the day after we landed in Changsha, Hunan, China.
But let me tell you this – it is only because of God’s grace and faithfulness that we even boarded that plane.
Rather than launch into a lengthy story, I’ll simply state the ways God provided and proved Himself to be incredibly faithful.
- He gave us the money to purchase plane tickets. Our employers initially told us that they were terminating our contract early and not paying us for February. A few days later, they refused to pay our return plane tickets. At that point, we had 2,000 RMB in our Chinese bank account and $0 USD in our US bank account (since we had drained it by paying student loans while in China since we couldn’t transfer money), which was definitely not the 13,500 RMB we needed to get back. After discussion with them and crying out to God and depending on Him, He softened their hearts and had them pay us just enough of February’s salary (in addition with January’s salary) so that we could purchase tickets. The five days that we waited for their answer were perhaps the scariest days of my life. I had no choice but to cling to God and trust Him because I could do nothing to help the situation myself.
- He gave us a ride to Wuhan. To get to Shanghai, John and I were going to have to take the train from Yueyang to Wuhan then catch a train from Wuhan to Shanghai. The school offered to drive us to Wuhan which saved us money we didn’t really have to spend on train tickets.
- He gave us train tickets. During the Spring Festival rush, ~ 300 million people (roughly the population of the US) travel throughout China. It is nearly impossible to walk up and buy train tickets, yet we were able to purchase high speed train tickets for the day we needed to leave.
- He gave us a place to stay in Shanghai. We didn’t have money for a hotel room, but we didn’t have to worry about it! God gave us a connection (John’s best friend’s sister’s in-laws) in Shanghai with a family who let us stay for three nights and fed us. Their love and generosity was overwhelming.
- He gave us plane tickets that we could afford. We didn’t have a credit card in China, so we couldn’t book plane tickets in advance. We had to walk up to the Delta counter at the airport and ask for the cheapest tickets available. They were just under the amount we had left, giving us enough money to land in Columbus, OH with $169.82 USD.
Through this ridiculous and incredible series of events, my faith was tested and tried. I was often tempted to (and did momentarily) despair. Yet, God is so faithful and loving. He provided for us in ways we couldn’t have dreamed of. My faith has significantly increased through tangibly seeing Him provide. Stay tuned for how He has provided now that we are broke and homeless in the States!