God's timing is so good! I think He's trying to teach me something that I didn't know I needed to be taught. Okay, so after the chain mail incident, I headed off to the airport. I had been delayed for 1 day exactly. Everything went smoothly this time and the flight to Frankfurt was pleasant. I sat next to a really sweet Indian man who educated me a little on life in India. On the flight from Frankfurt to Tel Aviv, I sat next to an awesome believer who was going to Ramallah, of all places. I told her that I live right next to Ramallah and then we began chatting. She's from Chicago & she'll be working in the West Bank for almost a month. We exchanged e-mail info & made tentative plans to meet up while she's here - maybe even this weekend. After we exited the plane, the moment that I had been wondering about for so long finally came. I approached the passport control booth and the girl took my passport and asked me one question: "How long do you want to stay?" That was it?! I told her I wanted to stay until June 15th and she stamped it. I couldn't believe how easy it was. Even when I came to Israel the first time and didn't have all the visas that I have now it wasn't that easy. I was astonished and I knew that God really wanted me back here. Why at this time exactly, I'm still not sure, but He's teaching me to trust His timing. I was very pleased to find that my luggage had made it onto the plane with me (the one day delay had me worried), not only because of my stuff, but I had 25 bags of Easter candy to give to the American volunteers for Easter. I would've been heartbroken if something had happened to that candy. I happily gathered my precious cargo and headed towards the exit. Wilma had told me that she & Erin didn't have the truck, so I needed to take a bus to Jerusalem and then maybe a taxi to the apartment. I had been silently wishing to God that someone would give me a ride home, and I hoped that the lady I met on the plane would offer to drop me off in East Jerusalem since it's next to Ramallah, but she didn't. And so, I stood in the arrivals section trying to figure out which way to go to get a bus. Then I heard "psst, psst" next to me - I glanced around and saw a man trying to say something to me in a low voice. I looked at him wondering what he wanted and then out of nowhere Wilma and Erin popped up from behind him and surprised me. I was so shocked and excited that I screamed. It must have scared the man because he just took off; I still don't know what he wanted - maybe he was going to offer me some mithril to wear. ;) But Wilma & Erin were there and now I wouldn't have to find a bus and pay 50 shekels to get to Jerusalem and then another 20 or 30 shekels for a taxi. And it was wonderful to see my roomies again!! Of course we talked non-stop all the way home and most of the evening. I heard a lot of frustrations with school in their stories and I was glad that I hadn't been here these past few months. That may sound terrible, but it's true. God's timing. He knew it was better for me to be at home with my family, and indeed it was. And I've been told by a couple of people that they thought my plane was delayed in coming back so that I would arrive at just the right time to get in, and that may very well be true. Erin came in on the exact same day and time a week before I did, and she didn't have any problems either. It seems as though Friday @ 3:00 p.m. is an anointed arrival time. :)
And so I'm back. I haven't been to school yet because I've been sick ever since the Frankfurt flight. My throat started hurting suddenly on the plane and it hasn't stopped since. I can't remember having this kind of throat pain since I had strep as a child - I should probably go to the doctor, but I'm trying to gargle the pain away first. The highlights of being back so far (besides seeing my friends again) are the sunrise Easter service at the Garden Tomb - yes, I said sunrise...I got up at 4:30!!, and passing out the Easter candy. It was delightful to see the smiles on everyone's faces! I may try to go to school tomorrow...it'll be nice to see the teachers and the students again.