After boarding the plane in Nairobi, God gave us a companion to be with until we left London. Her name is Naomi. She is a Kenyan woman of 60 years. She has four children, all grown up and on their own. Her husband has passed on and she is on her own, too. Naomi was a teacher for a while after her husband died but before that they lived in one of the outlying villages. They had a house and a shamba (farm) where she raised their children.
Now Naomi is trying to find her way without work; she had to sell her house and business because of a long bout with meningitis that kept her hospitalized for a long while. She was now traveling to Chicago to stay with her nephew.
When we met, she found her assigned seat after being located in the wrong one during boarding. She sat on the aisle seat in the row Zach and I were sitting in. She is a large woman so between her and I we took up most of the row. Poor Zach. I raised the arm rest between us so I could give Naomi a little more room. Little is the operative word here, as you know if you have flown in the economy section of an airplane lately.
Since the flight was a night-time flight we talked a little while and then tried to get some sleep. Sleep was sporadic and more tiresome than restful. When the lights were brought back up and we were served breakfast, she started to ask me questions about what to do when she got off at London. Questions that indicated she had no idea of what to do or where to go to find her connecting flight to Chicago. I heard God say, “You have a Kenyan woman here who needs your help.” Yes, we did. God was right. I told Naomi we would lead her out of the plane and help her find her connecting flight. You could see the relief in her eyes and a smile came over her face.
As we exited the plane we moved through the maze of escalators, people moving ramps, hallways and found our way to the bus for Terminal 3. London Heathrow Airport is large and spread out between 5 terminals. Masses of people in front of us, behind us and all around us. The bus was packed but we arrived at Terminal 3 and moved through another set of mazed paths to security. After passing our security inspection we arrived at the American Airlines check in area. We waited for Naomi as the agents drilled for information about who, what ,where, when and why she was there and her final destination.
We wound ourselves into the massive waiting area to wait for the posting of gate assignments for our next flights. We talked more about our lives and how God had brought us together to help her to reach Chicago and her nephew. We realized we had a divine appointment that God arranges for us. So we didn’t waste the time we had. We exchanged contact information and I asked if I could take her picture. She was more than willing to let me. (see above)
I sent Zach out to find water for us all and check on gate times. I was carrying a small envelope of UK change for the London airport needs while we were there. I gave Zach the change and the rest of our Kenyan shillings to pay for it. He exchanged the shillings for UK money and found us two waters and a Dr. Pepper for himself.
Naomi told me her nephew said not to bring any money and he was quite wary of people in airports, believing the worst of being robbed or taken advantage of while traveling. I can’t really blame her but this time God had other plans So God said to give her the change Zach had left over. It was only 4 pounds 27p but I knew she could exchange it for about $8 in Chicago. She was overwhelmed that we would give her anything and started to tear up.
As we walked back to our gate I said to Zach, “Now, what are the chances of that just happening?” He said, “God set that up for us to help that woman.” He surely did and we were blessed in the process. All we had to do was to be available and look for what God was doing. It would have been real easy to overlook Naomi and just go our way but God had other plans. We are glad He did.