We were up early, as usual and boarded the bus to the airport for the final time. We went thru security with no problems, however it was about a two hour process. The plane was full for this trip and the flight from Amman to New York was to be 12 and 1/2 hours long! We watched three movies, some played cards and generally moved around as much as possible and kept each other in good spirits during the very long flight.
We left Amman at 10:30 AM Jordan time arrived at JFK at 4:40 PM US time. It took about one hour to go thru immigration and customs, but most of that time was spent waiting for our bags to come off the baggage carousel. Re-entering the US was painless and prompt. It was great to be back in the USA!!
We parted ways with our new found friends, and said our good byes. Many friendships have been made during our travels. There is no doubt that we'll be seeing each other again in the future.
For those who do not know, three of our pastors have a "connection" to each other. Beginning with Pastor Don Bowen and his time at Downtown Baptist Church in Alexandria, when a young man named Ricky Speas began attending his Church. Ricky became an "adopted" son to the Bowen family and Don mentored Ricky as he began his studies and ministry. He performed the marriage for Ricky and his wife Leslie. Don likes to say he knew Ricky "BLT"---Before Leslie and the Twins! (They have twin children). Ricky moved on and met Kevin Brown, our wonderful young pastor from Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church, and has been a great friend and mentor to Kevin, as he moved into his ministry.
It has been such a pleasure knowing and spending time with these gentlemen and it is such a testimony to all of them, seeing how they continue to "pay forward" love and kindness. In addition, you've seen Melody Eller mentioned here on our trip. What a bundle of energy and a true bright spot she has been for all of us! Well, if you talk to her, she'll tell you that Ricky and Leslie have "adopted" her, much as the Bowen's did Ricky. And she has been a longtime friend of Keven, and he and his family are also like "family" to Melody. So the tradition continues, and it is a wonderful example for all to follow!
The flight out of JFK for the Virginians was delayed, departing around 11:45 and arriving in Richmond around 12:30. Earl and George( Charlotte's husband) were there to meet us with the church bus. We were glad to see them and ready for the drive to Warsaw. We arrived at Cobham Park about 2:15 AM. A little sleepy after 26 hours of travel, thankful to be home, and grateful for the wonderful experience of our trip.
Shortly we'll post a final "wrap-up" of our Holy Land Experience! Thanks to friends and family for supporting and following us along the way!