Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | March 23, 2010

New Friends in the Air

   Dubai, UAE en route to Kampala, Uganda

   I am between flights in Dubai while on my way to Kampala, Uganda. I have flown this route many times before and know the routine well. I was happy when Emirates Airlines, currently my favorite airline, started offering a direct flight from Houston to Dubai a few years ago. It’s a long 15-hour flight but offers me lots of good options for reaching the places I most often visit. I must confess that flying was lots more of an adventure for me when I started traveling internationally many long years ago. As for the present, I don’t always look forward to long flights in an economy class seat. But, it’s necessary since we do not have Star Trek technology available that can beam travelers to their destinations.

   One thing that does make long flights bearable is the opportunity to talk with other travelers and with flight attendants. I especially appreciate flight attendants. These hard-working individuals can make long-flights more bearable and certainly more enjoyable. I had an opportunity to meet and to converse with three of the flight attendants working in the economy class section on my flight from Houston to Dubai. One young lady is from France and two are from Mexico. I enjoyed learning a little about each of them, where they are from, why they chose this career, and about their own travels. They were not only delightful to meet, but they did their work with excellence and made the flight enjoyable for me and my fellow passengers.

   Every time I speak with flight attendants or fellow travelers, one question always comes up – “Why are you traveling and where are you going?” This question always provides great opportunities to tell the story of Kingsland’s global initiatives and involvement in addressing the issues that matter to God. In regard to this trip, I was able to share the story of our pregnancy help center in Kampala. I also shared that this trip is one of the initial steps we are taking to help start another pregnancy help center in Cambodia with Life International and with our new Cambodian partner and friend, Steve Hyde. I also shared about our work to address justice issues by helping to support homes in Kampala and Kolkata for girls rescued from sex trafficking. Talking one on one with others is a good way to raise awareness about issues like the sanctity of human life and the need to seek justice for the oppressed.

   I am thankful that I had the opportunity to meet and converse with some new friends on this flight. The young ladies who work for Emirates meet lots of interesting folks and travel to lots of places around the globe. Their positive attitudes, friendly dispositions, and their care for travelers like me make the long hours in the air enjoyable. Geraldine, Veronica, and Fernanda were kind enough to stop by my seat to thank me for what we are doing to address important concerns around the planet. Wow! That was a very nice thing to do and tells me that their hearts also connected with what we are doing.

   The more I travel and talk with others about why we must address needs and help the least of these, the more convinced I am that people from all walks of life care about these same things. And regardless of whether they know how to personally address these issues, they are always glad to know that someone is fighting hard on behalf of the oppressed and the needy. Just before we landed, one of the young ladies remarked, “We need more people to do what you and your church are doing. Thank you for your good work and for helping people in need.” Her words were both refreshing and encouraging and serve to remind me that we must continue to go beyond and to do for others what Jesus would do.


Responses

  1. Thank you Omar for sharing with those people what Jesus is doing through our church! You are often my trainer in life lessons. I am with you I think people in the world all would like to help someone that they just dont know where to begin. I remember when Katrina happened I was in St. Croix and I wanted to physically help those people and coordinate help and expedite help! Sometimes we just need a starting point and Kingsland is my avenue to get help where it is needed.

  2. It was a pleasure to have you onboard. I feel full of happiness whenever I meet people like you, trying to make the world a better place to live. I hope to meet you soon in another flight.


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