Alliance News Feed – Lessons from a Lost Backpack

Adapted from a report by an Alliance international worker serving in West Africa

We were exhausted after our 24-hour trip returning to West Africa. Neither my wife, Linda*, nor I had slept. Our toddler, Rosy, had thrown up three times during the last couple of take offs and landings.

With Rosy strapped in a carrier to my chest, I lugged two backpacks and carry-ons through the airport customs line. Linda had our newborn and several more bags. At the security scanner, we loaded everything onto the conveyor belt. As we regathered our bags, Rosy vomited again.

Once outside, we met our teammate, whose wife had dinner waiting for us at their home. Rosy and I needed to clean up, so Linda went to grab the diaper bag and my backpack. She returned minutes later, saying, “We can’t find your backpack.”

It Was All Gone

My heart sank. That single bag contained our prized possessions—most importantly, our hard drive with every picture and video we had from our last six years together. It was all gone.

I knew our bag was gone, but we had to try. So I got in a car with our teammate and returned to the airport while Linda and our colleagues prayed. On the drive I wondered: Was God stripping us of what we held dear so we would press into Him in new ways?

At the airport, I was finally allowed to reenter after explaining the situation multiple times. I began retelling my story to a worker stationed near the scanner machine, where I thought I’d last had the bag. And there it was—sitting on top of the machine in plain sight. “That’s my bag!” I screamed, running to retrieve it.

I couldn’t believe that my backpack had simply sat there unnoticed. I grabbed it and quickly hurried to the exit. Once outside, I verified that everything was there.

He Is in This

Our return to West Africa has been a bit like this story. Reorienting and unpacking has been slow, we’ve had unexpected illnesses, a house needing constant repairs—the tasks are increasing in size and number.

But He is in this. We prayed for a miracle when our bag was lost, and He granted one. Please join us in praying for multiple miracles surrounding our health and circumstances; by faith, we believe He’ll grant those too.

*Names changed

Source: Alliance News Feed – Lessons from a Lost Backpack

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