The Missionary Returns

I’m about a week late and several dollars short, but I suppose better late than never.

Katie had a great, if not interesting, experience in Jamaica. I received a call on Wednesday night from Stacey, the “resident nurse”, informing me that Katie was pretty sick. I’m not sure if she qualified as “violently” ill, but they did move her bed into the bathroom so she wouldn’t have far to go. Stacey asked if she could give Katie phenergan to stop the vomiting so she could hold down some water and a Z-pack. I told her to do what she needed to. Then I talked to Katie, which was horrible! Her voice told me that she was holding back tears as she said, “Hi Mommy. I want to come home.” *sigh* I wanted to hop a plane to Jamaica so I could be there with my sick child. After our goodbye I talked to Stacey again who promised to call me the next morning with an update.

That night I would wake up fearing that Katie was going to end up in the Kingston Hospital and I wouldn’t even be able to go to her because I don’t have a passport. And then I’d pray and feel that crazy peace and go back to sleep.

The next morning I waited to hear from Stacey, but I got nothing. I texted an emergency number we had and received a response about an hour later. “She’s back at the compound. Will contact you when we get back.” Finally that night Stacey called to tell me Katie was much better. She’d had half a bag of pretzels and plenty of water. She also said she had stayed back with Katie and the team took the phone before she had a chance to call me.

This is the part where I tell you how grateful Todd and I were that Stacey was there! Knowing she was taking care of Katie gave us a HUGE measure of comfort.

Saturday morning the group left Jamaica and flew to Miami. Hurricane Emily wreaked a little havoc and delayed their landing in Florida which, after getting 20+ people through customs, made them miss their flight to LaGuardia. No worries, though. Adam managed to get them on another flight which required a mad dash through the airport. So they hauled tail to their gate, only to find out that flight had been cancelled due to a mechanical problem.

After all the running and stress and disappointment, the airline put them up in a nice hotel and provided dinner for the entire group. While they were all bummed they didn’t get to come home, they thoroughly enjoyed hot showers and air conditioned rooms! The biggest problem was that their luggage was actually on its way to New York so most of them didn’t have toothbrushes or clean clothes to change into.

Katie’s biggest issue with the delay was that she was of the understanding Taylor would be leaving for college Monday morning and she wasn’t going to get any time to spend with him before he left. Once she found out he wasn’t leaving until Thursday the layover wasn’t such a bad thing.

Early Sunday morning they boarded a plane bound for Philadelphia, even though their luggage had gone to LaGuardia, and within minutes of the end of third service at church our fearless missionaries had returned. I kept seeing all these kids coming in and finding their families, but I didn’t see Katie. Finally I spotted her about the same time she saw me and she came at me in a dead run. I thought she was going to knock me over when she practically jumped in my arms. Thankfully I managed to stay upright (because it was a cement floor and it would have hurt!).

I’m so glad she had the experience and I love hearing the bits and pieces about the week as she remembers them. But I’m especially glad she’s home safe and sound!


  1. Lyn on August 15, 2011 at 10:08 pm

    Gosh, I’m glad she is alright now! That is scary!

    Now, a lecture from your “other mom” ….. GET A PASSPORT!!!! One should always have a passport! You never know when you might need it, and especially if your child, or ANY family member, is out of the country!!!

    Whew. I feel better.

    Seriously, you can get the application on line. Do it tonight or tomorrow. 🙂

    • Jenster on August 15, 2011 at 10:17 pm

      I know!! When we were getting her passport I thought about getting mine at the same time (mostly because we’re not too far from Niagara and would love to see the falls from Canada) but I decided to wait until after the Jamaica expenses were paid for. Talk about smacking my head when I realized I couldn’t get to her if I needed to! At least Todd could have. Next time it won’t be an issue, though!

  2. Lyn on August 15, 2011 at 11:37 pm

    Isn’t hindsight wonderful???

  3. SMAS on August 16, 2011 at 9:20 am

    Great story! Reminds me of the time Charm went to Asia!

  4. Amber Emory Lappin on August 17, 2011 at 12:19 am

    I’m such a baby. I cried through the story even though I had already heard the ending. I’m so glad this turned out so well!

    ps: That Stacey is a superhero. Melikes her very much.

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