Finally, back in Charleston!  Wow, what a trip!  The final Thursday night was special as the ELT snuck me away for a final goodbye dinner.  It was lovely and such a gift to exchange loving words of appreciation and blessing before we all part.  

Only sunset I got to see in Albania at my Farewell Dinner

The ELT and a few others shared a very nice Albanian meal together.

I worked all the way up till my flight at the airport last Saturday!  Andreas, one of the ELT members, has assumed responsibility for communication during the interim.  I was so busy during Congress I didn’t have time to really spend with our team or meet with him.  I met with him at 11:00 in the lobby before our 12:00 bus departed and then again in the airport to pass on some info and show him some things that will help now that I’m gone.

While everyone else was sad to see taxis and buses leave for the airport, each departing group gave me a sense of relief and accomplishment!  I had assigned a group leader for each departing vehicle to make sure everyone who was supposed to leave was indeed on the bus and naturally was the group leader for the 12:00 bus I was on.  Our 30-seater was one of the larger groups.

My delayed flight to Ljubljana caused no problem, and I sat next to a French couple and had a very interesting discussion.  I was surprised how open the young woman was despite her saying several times that she is atheist.  She seemed interested and listened to what I had to say, and I hope that seeds were planted and/or watered.  By God’s grace, I was able to find Helmut whose flight arrived in Zurich about 45 minutes after mine.  His wife picked us both up, and they dropped me off at friends who hosted me.

Thought I would try something Serbian.  It has ham and cheese in the middle.
I ate  all of it. 🙂

What was special is that this is the same family I stayed with for the 5 weeks in 2016, so it was like my time in Europe was closing full circle.  I was able to meet up with a couple of friends and celebrate with Helmut’s family and host friends before leaving.
I visited the airport both days before leaving because of Charleston’s evacuation due to Hurricane Dorian.  There was no way to change my ticket since both flights in/out of Europe were on schedule, but I’m so grateful to the Lord’s provision.  By the time I landed in Newark, I had already received word that the Charleston airport would be closed Wednesday afternoon through Friday morning. I was grateful to be given free meal vouchers.  Hoping to use my credit card’s flight insurance, I was again relieved that I won’t have to as the hotel comped my stay since the bath water was brown!   The next morning, my first flight to DC was delayed because of maintenance, causing me to miss my next flight to Columbia, SC.  They again gave me a meal voucher, and alas, I made it to Columbia where my mom and sister had driven to pick me up.  It was over an hour drive to where we were going, but how thankful I was to be on South Carolina soil yet away from the storm.
It was perfect to spend the next couple of days with family in the country with no Internet and catching up, taking walks, fishing, and watching the US Open.  And now it is so nice to be back in Charleston, a bit battered, but having survived yet another storm.  I’ve got quite a To Do List, but the hope is to have two weeks’ vacation before I go to New Wineskins in Asheville at the end of the month.  Am hoping to have time to process and reflect the past three years and pray for the future.  
Thank you for following me and praying for my travels and responsibilities during Congress.  It means the world to me and makes an incredible difference!