Craig's Family greeting him at LAX upon the return
It was a glorious trip that ended on a somewhat less than desirable note. Upon returning to LAX, we discovered that our luggage failed to make the flight. That's sixteen lost suitcases and bags containing dirty laundry, work boots, tool belts, Stiletto hammers, and dry rub from The Shed BBQ. Yet, to a man, this became so insignificant compared to the blessings received from God during our time in Mississippi. This is only a "minor inconvenience," a "small bump in the road," or "don't want to let the enemy distract us in any way from what the Lord has achieve to and through us in Mississippi" were some of the responses to the situation. Commendable, indeed. But why did it happen? 1 Corinthians 2:11 says: "For who knows a person’s thoughts except their own spirit within them? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God." Was the Lord somehow using this for his purposes? We may never know.
As me and my family, Steve and Shirley Ogata, and their "son," Pastor Ian Nagata, exited the baggage claim area, the last Evergreeners at the airport, Steve received a call on his cell phone. "Let's go back in" was the instruction he gave me, "They need the phone numbers of the men in order to deliver the luggage." Great. Why didn't they tell us that before everyone left the baggage claim office? (Note, "inept" was one of the words used to describe the service we received but, hey, I'll let Steve share about that) Then, it dawned on me. Peter Lau created and gave each team member a small card listing everyone's cell phone number in case someone got separated while in Mississippi. Or, in case Continental Airlines needed the phone numbers of team members so lost luggage could be delivered. Who knew that card would come in handy? Maybe Peter, but certainly God did.
As far as I know, everyone's luggage was delivered successfully on Monday thanks to that small card. Praise God for his perfect plan.