Luggage lessons

Staff_team_2015 Posted by Gillian Maganda on Mon, 27 Nov 2017 | 0 comments | Bookmark: digg this Post this to Post this to Facebook

Arriving in Ndola airport in northern Zambia was full of familiarities about being back in Africa, and yet very different. The heat hit me as soon as I got off the plane and the walk to the arrivals terminal (a very small, simple building) was an experience. The immigration clearance and baggage claim area were in the one room. With a multitude of nationalities on the plane, the need for queuing soon disappeared.

When I had boarded the flight from Addis Ababa to Ndola, I was last on the plane and there was no room for any more hand luggage. So the air stewardess took my bag from me (which included my entire wardrobe for the three-week trip, malaria medication and toiletries) and put it in the hold. While queuing up at immigration, I had a feeling that I might not see that bag arrive.

Thankfully the two suitcases full of stuff for the mission partners arrived, but no sign of my hand luggage. I was almost the last person standing there, so Keith and Lyn came in to find out where I was. The realisation that I was there to visit our staff and partners in the clothes I was standing in made me quietly panic inside.

Keith helpfully said, “Well you have insurance don’t you?” That might not seem like the best thing to say to a slightly panicked woman, even if she is low maintenance. Even for me, there are a few essentials I need in life! But it quietly calmed my heart and then I began to think to myself about many of (my husband) David’s family in Uganda, who only have two outfits – they wear one, wear one and repeat.

I also thought of the refugee families in Northern Uganda who have had to flee South Sudan with nothing to hand…

The Lord was quietly challenging me – and so in my mind I told Him: “You have me here for a reason and your plans must not include my clothes” – and so, gradually, my heart was at peace. Lyn and I later had a laugh as we looked around one of the supermarkets and realised that what was on offer would never cover me!

Jesus said…

Why do you worry about clothes? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin! (Matthew 6:28).

The good news came later this afternoon when someone phoned me from Ndola airport and Keith drove me the 120km round-trip to fetch my small bag, fresh off the plane from DR Congo, where we can only surmise it was left behind. I was amazed that everything was intact, including my ipad, which I feared would have been stolen. Thank you to all who prayed. God knows our needs even before we mention them.

Even an ‘aul doll’ like me is in need of being reminded what is truly important in life. How much of our time is given over to worrying about the stuff that fills our lives, when at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter?

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