Thursday the 11th we went to pick up Adrianne Jones at the airport. She is affiliated with The Operation Underground Railroad that rescues trafficked minors. Mike and Marisa Johnson haven’t been able to get their car fixed and asked us to pick her up. We had found out that she was coming just two days before her trip. We hurriedly arranged for Gordon Carter to meet her and have her bring along a suitcase of stuff from Charity Anywhere Foundation. We were expecting her to have one of the suitcases that Mike (Christy’s brother) had loaded with nice clothing to give out to missionaries that needed them and throw in one of the musical instruments he had to donate to the children’s orchestra out in barrio Viet Nam. Gordon couldn’t find those so he loaded about 200 reader glasses into a suitcase and filled the rest of it with random clothing and shoes from the warehouse and gave that to Adrianne to bring to us.
It turned out that she was on the same flight into Santo Domingo as Sister Rochon who was returning from meetings in Puerto Rico. Sister Rochon came out and then we waited a long time for Adrianne. She finally emerged following a guy who had confiscated the trunk with the donations in it. Since we were also picking up Ruth Kartchner who was due to arrive about 90 minutes later and also bringing extra stuff, we had Carlos (who lives near the airport) meet us in case we needed him to carry more cargo.
We followed Adrianne and the customs guy to some offices way to the end of the airport complex and waited to get a chance to speak with the one who decides things. The problem was that his suitcase had about 200 pairs of reader glasses with all the tags still on. We did not have time nor even had thought of any need to provide Adrianne with any documentation about what all those glasses were for.
It was a good thing that Carlos was there. He is very smooth and could talk an elephant out of his trunk, or talk a customs guy out of keeping ours. Carlos convinced him that the glasses were for a legitimate charity and we would be sure to have documentation from here on out. The official released the trunk back to us and requested that we send him emails confirming who we were and what those glasses were for. That we did.
In the end we didn’t really need Carlos to haul anything. But if he hadn’t been there we don’t think we would have gotten that stuff out of the customs office. These are what we often call “tender mercies”, the way things work out almost by accident. Read on for the rest of this story. There are no accidents.
Christy had gone through the clothing and shoes that had arrived in the suitcase with the glasses. The clothing was not missionary attire, but could be used for regular wear. There was also a good assortment of shoes of various types and sizes. We boxed all of that up and took it with us to church thinking possibly to give it to the bishop.
After the meeting Christy decided to offer all of that to Kadensy to use for his family of 8 or distribute as he saw fit.
Kadensy was there. He wanted us to know that some of his family members could not attend church because they didn’t have anything to wear. He has 6 children with another near on the way. His wife didn’t have any tops that fit that she could wear to church and one of his boys had outgrown his good trousers. It turned out that just about everything in those two boxes was something that they needed. His son now has two pair of pants that fit him well that he can wear to church. There were several large blouses that would fit his pregnant wife and all of the shoes would fit someone including a blue pair of running shoes that fit Kadensy perfectly and would match the blue shirt that the staff will wear in the school where he teaches. There was something for everyone.
So to sum this up: the random clothing that Gordon threw into that suitcase at the last second in Utah (because he couldn’t find the ones he was looking for), that was saved because we had Carlos with us at the airport, and that we randomly decided to take to church with us that day and then hand over to this family were just exactly what they needed. Kadensy had to choose whether to pay tithing or go buy a few clothes. He paid his tithing and then this all showed up out of the blue, and outfitted them better than they could have hoped for. As we often say to each other, there are no accidents.
This is Gordon. You get my part of this little miracle.
I was told an hour before Adrianne was to fly to Santo Domingo to get a suitcase ready for her to take and rendezvous with her at the airport.
I thought I knew where the suitcase for her was in the warehouse but I couldn’t find it. I then decided to make another suitcase. I knew they always could use reading glasses. I found a box with over 200 reading glasses at different powers. I put it in the suitcase and then grabbed 2 bags of clothing. I went through it and most of it was 4x large clothing for men and women. I hesitated to send those down but decided that maybe one or two for women would work. I sorted out all the children clothing and put them in. I weighed the suitcase and it was 4 pounds short. I knew we had some new shoes so I ran back and got 7 pairs of different size shoes. One pair was huge and blue. Again I thought would a pair of big shoes be used. I decided, why not send them, they will find someone to use them. I put the shoes in and weighed the suitcase. It was 50.2 pounds.
I immediately put the suitcase in the car and headed for the airport. Sure enough, 2 minutes after I arrived Adrianne showed up.
We are thrilled to help Kadensy family. The Lord works with the weak and simple to get his work done. I was honored to be one of his helpers.
Kadensy and his family. Ruth to Kadensy’s left. We didn’t know that when we took this, most of those kids were wearing about the only cloths they had that still fit. They couldn’t bring themselves to go outside, much less wear those to church.