Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Nutters: Chicago Airport Chapter

Late yesterday afternoon, I went to O’Hare and met Matt and Kelly Nutter and their 4 children. They had a 5 hour layover in Chicago on their way to begin a new career in Jordan. They just got off of a 3 ½ hour flight and had a 13 hour flight ahead of them. It has been quite a saga—getting to this point of leaving for Jordan. Then there was the daunting task in Chicago of moving 4 children, 12 carry-ons, a stroller and a carseat, to the washroom and then to a restaurant to meet 6 relatives some of whom they had never seen before. That all happened uneventfully although not effortlessly.

After dinner was the train shuttle ride to the International Terminal. The trains come and go quickly. Half of the group—Matt and his luggage cart, D’Ann, Caleb and Geoff, Luke and Brenda, made it onto the first train. When we got off, we realized first of all that Paul and his cart, Anne, Kelly, Katy, Meghan and Jaden did not make the first train. Secondly we were reprimanded by airport personnel for taking a cart on the train and then noticed all of the signs around that clearly stated, “No carts allowed on trains”. We really were grateful though that we had not noticed the signs because we would have obeyed but it would have been hard. The others made the next train with their cart and no reprimand and we thought we were on our way. And we were . . . except for the one hour wait in line for boarding passes. Finally at the counter when we thought all signals were” go”, there was another snafu. Matt was told that he owed $140 that he had already paid in Phoenix. So back went Matt to America West in Terminal 2 to get that settled. Meanwhile Kelly and children and all of the rest of us settled onto a floor in the hallway with two luggage carts near security. Matt meanwhile discovered that no one was at the America West counter. It was closed for the night. After 30 minutes and back at the Royal Jordanian Airlines counter, I knew things were looking up when the person checking Matt in said, “I’ll tell you what I will do.. .” and he did not charge Matt again. Thankfully, there was no wait for the security line, and we watched while Matt and Kelly unloaded both carts, took off their shoes and all of their kids shoes, took off belts and put toiletries out in their plastic bags and removed the computer. We watched until they were all assembled again—shoes on, carts loaded and they walked out of sight--probably the plane was loading by the time they got to the gate.

Here is what impressed me about the kids.
Katy (10 years old): quiet, responsible, helpful, and mature for her age
Meghan (7 years): busy, affectionate, good at coloring, desiring to investigate every plant and quite naturally fixated on Jordan. (i.e. Are we in Jordan now? Do you live in Jordan? Is this restaurant in Jordan?)
Luke (will be 4 next week): loves cars, sweet, unusually patient for his age, and curious that I should have such a great last name. I felt like I totally disappointed him with my answers. (i.e. What is your name? What is your other name? Do you live at McDonalds? Do you work at McDonalds?)
Jaden (22 months): mostly happy but has a loud scream, likes to throw, loves to run very fast. (Caleb and Jaden are one week apart in age and act just alike.)

Here is what impressed me about Matt and Kelly:
God has called them to go and they are excited about the opportunity.
They do not need sympathy nor do they need to be put on a pedestal.
This is a lot of work.
They are well prepared.
They were unflappable in the midst of a trying traveling experience.
I envy the surety they have of their calling. I respect their obedience.
I am convinced that they will have much joy and be blessed in unimaginable ways.

Here is what impressed me about Joy (Matt’s mom) when I called her to tell her the kids were on their way:
There was not a trace of self-pity. Joy clearly is happy that Matt and Kelly are doing what has been on their heart to do for many years and obeying their call.

Jesus said, "Blessed are those who hear the word of God and obey it." Luke 11:28

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