Turbulence means a state of conflict or confusion or a violent or unsteady movement of air or water, or of some other fluid. This eddying motion of the atmosphere that interrupts the flow of life makes most people nervous. This is the very state that my family went through, with many difficult transitions. My family and I were thrown into a state of conflict, concern and apprehension. Turbulence felt in the air and on the ground as we feared for my mothers’ life.
In April 2014, as I came to church on Resurrection Sunday, two days away from starting a new job, I received a call from my hysterical brother informing me my Grandpa had passed away. My mother’s father had transitioned into eternity after a long illness back in our home country. Standing outside church, I struggled to absorb this devastating news; I walked slowly into church, determined to give thanks to God for his life.
Sitting through the service was difficult as I struggled to come to terms with the news and the difficult emotions raging within me. I also had an urge to sow a seed to celebrate my Grandpa’s life, which I did in honor of him.
The funeral arrangements were made and since I couldn’t travel to the funeral my mum, who lives in the US, prepared to go back home to join the family for the internment service. She booked a flight with an international airline, and as the plane took off, she breathed deeply as her mind filled with memories of her father. She nervously whispered a prayer to her Heavenly Father, not even focused on her own journey but on her earthly father’s journey into heaven not knowing that soon she would be wondering whether the destination for her flight was heaven-bound.
My mum was travelling on Saturday 26th of April. That morning, a dear friend sent me an inspiring story about listening to God and obeying the His voice. The story shared how God had spoken to a man and prompted him to reach out to a certain family who were believing God to answer their prayers by sending an angel to their aid. This touched me profoundly, but little did I know how powerful that message would be for me.
Later on during the day, I had a prompting to call and pray with my mum for journey mercies. I was rushing to a bible study so I said a short prayer and decided to call her when I was back from the fellowship. I had a sense of unease about the flight but pushed the thought away reasoning that it was perhaps it was because of the sad news of my Grandfather.
Once I returned home from the bible study, I saw a message from my mum advising me that she was boarding. I still had the urge to pray with her but by the time I was called her flight had already departed. Nonetheless, I still prayed fervently for journey mercies and that all would go well with the funeral service.
The next morning as I was getting ready for church, the prompting to pray again for journey mercies was still on my mind and this time I even felt the Spirit directing me to the song “There’s power in the name of Jesus to break every chain“. I said a prayer and sang the song over and over again. Truly God works in miraculous ways, because when I got to church that day, the choir led us with the very same powerful song and unknown to me at the time, Jesus was actually performing miracles and breaking chains elsewhere.
My mother’s flight from America was indirect so she was due change flights in Europe.. The first leg of the flight was uneventful but two hours into the second leg of the journey, the captain announced they had developed a mechanical fault and it was best for them to return to the location they had just left. My mother being a prayerful woman later informed me that she also started to pray ardently, seeking for God’s Hand of mercy in a time of great turmoil in her life. He father was being laid to rest and she needed to get home to pay her respects and honor his life. She told me prayers were being lifted from all corners of the plane as people moved away from their on-board entertainment in light of the announcement and started reflecting on the unfolding situation.
My brother sent me a message advising that mum had called him, once her flight landed back in Europe, advising the family that the plane had mechanical problems and therefore she would not be arriving that day. I immediately called him back for clarification and asked him to send me the phone number my mum had called him from. A mixture of concern and relief flooded over me, relief that my mother had landed safely but concern for my mother’s health because she suffers from high blood pressure and diabetes. Being immensely worried I tried my best to track her down; her number was not going through so I tried the number I was given by my brother.
God’s bestowed His heavenly hand on me in the form of wisdom, and reminded me of the angels He has assigned to each of us which can be deployed to serve in situations where we need them most.
I called the airline for an update on the flight. I was transferred to several people before I eventually spoke to someone with answers. I later came to discovered that the person who gave me the answers was an angel placed there by God in my time of need as he gave me all the information I needed and even confidential flight information he should not have been giving out. He confirmed that the flight did have a mechanical problem in the form of brake failure and that they were astounded that the flight had landed safely. I said a jubilant “Amen” because I knew who was in control. He informed me the passengers were safe and sound and processing their visas for overnight stay as they were scheduled for departure the next morning. An hour later, I called him again and he confirmed that everything was under control and the passengers had been booked to into a hotel which he was happy to give me the details of.
I immediately called the hotel and managed to get through to my mum’s room. She was amazed that I had managed to track her down but Jesus always makes a way for us. She narrated that although the captain calmly announced the mechanical fault, the look on the cabin crew’s faces told another story and it took them two hours to return to their departure airport. She said preparing for landing was challenging, they had to circle in the air for another two hours because the aircraft had to dispose of excess fuel in order to land safely. She said they could see fuel being dropped from the aircraft and was a total of six hours before they could started descending. She said it was unreal, much like a scene from a movie as the passengers looked out of the windows of the plane to see every part of the runway surrounded by ambulances, the fire brigade, police cars, the full works, as though they were prepared for an explosion. that’s all the passengers began to fully realize the extent of the problem they were facing. The aircraft was directed to land in a secluded area of the airport away from the main terminal in case it exploded but God was not about to let that happen.
Not realising that the at same time when we were worshipping with the song “Break Every Chain“, Captain Jesus was breaking each and every chain the devil had set and bringing the aircraft down to land safely, without faulty breaks. It was inevitable that with our Divine Captain on board the plane, the aircraft had to touch down safely and the passengers were ushered into safety.
Once they were securely in the airport terminal, my mother talked to a gentleman who kindly to let her use his mobile to call home. God had sent him as an angel. After my mother shared the experience we prayed together in praise and thanksgiving. I called her again the next morning before she flew out and prayed for journeying mercies, thanking God that He would be with her throughout her journey.
I decided to track the flight and noted that 15 minutes after the scheduled departure time that the flight was not showing as having departed. I called the person (angle) that I had spoken to a few days before who had helped me to locate my mum. He confirmed that the plane was awaiting takeoff clearance. The plane did take off a few minutes after this and I breathed a sigh of relief. After few hours, I then searched the destination for the arrivals information, but there was nothing showing up no matter which way I searched.
I began to think of the missing planes that had been in the news and began to panic My brother and other members of the family were eagerly awaiting her arrival. I even asked friends who lived locally to where my mum was going to see if they could get any information on the flight arrival but they weren’t able to get anything. My colleagues at work got involved to help me search for the flight online with no luck.
After persistently searching the particular flight number was nowhere to be seen and no information was forthcoming from airport personnel in my home country. It was as if the flight never existed. I prayed to God in that very moment, asking for His guidance, His wisdom, and most importantly my mom’s safe journey to our home country. We were going to bury one dear family member; surely we could not lose another.
God answered my prayer and after seven agonizing hours I felt the Holy Spirit prompt me to call the person at the departure airport for any news, even though I knew he had already gone out of his way to help several times already. This time his colleague answered and could not understand how I knew so much about the aircraft and he was not so willing to divulge any further details. In my deep concern, I asked him that if he was in my shoes, would he not do whatever it took to find his mother. Eventually he was kind enough to confirm that they had changed aircraft and also the flight number which is why it was not showing anywhere and therefore gave me the right flight number and with arrival details. He further stated that they had the best captains onboard and that there should be no cause for worry as earlier problems had been resolved. A few hours later, the mysterious flight landed at JKIA Nairobi in all of its glory.
Although it was a few hours late, my mum was finally home safe and well. My grandfather’s funeral took place and my mum has since returned home.
All sufficient sacrifice, so freely given, such a price, bought our redemption, Heaven’s gates swing wide! There is truly power in the name of Jesus! Praise to the most High God! Amen!