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Friday, July 16, 2010

Day One

While most trips start out uneventful, God likes to keep us on our toes. Seen as a long assembly line, our team can be spotted outside the Continental check-in at SFO. After collecting all the donation bags, Pastor Brian's inspiration words of advice, and slowly falling asleep on the dimmed charter bus, all 27 of us wait in the group check-in line, not for our turn to come, but for the airport to just open. Not even three hours into our adventure and the first need of a miracle arrives. While checking in our bags and receiving our boarding passes, Pastor Brian is informed that, with lack of a notarized and signed letter by both her parents, Valentia was not allowed to come aboard the plane to Belize. Due to the fact that Valentia is not 16 years of age, a notarized letter signed by her parents was required. Since no one knew about this rule, Pastor Brian planned on sending Valentia on the Monday flight with Steve and Joyce. Upset and confused, some of our team argues that both her sisters are legal adults who are accompanying her. (Our team discussed and concluded that the airline thought we were kidnapping Valentia.) When all was thought to be lost, the very kind airline employee, Elsa, let us know that there was a notarizing agent that was coming in at 5:15am. Immediately, Rachael called her mom to ask if they could drive up to SFO and sign the letter. Right after, Valentia's parents rushed up to San Francisco from south San Jose (without being pulled over.) After all the suspense (and Valentia imagining herself running in slow motion through the plane, like in the movies), with perfect timing, Valentia's parents pull over at the drop-off zone, where Priscilla is waiting for them. Valentia's parents run in as fast as they can to sign the letter put out for them by the extremely nice agent, Debbie. Minutes later, the letter is signed. Valentia is allowed to fly to Belize. Then, Elsa rapidly checks Valentia's bags in and gives her the boarding pass. At this point, we are all thanking God for answering prayers and fulfilling miracles. Before getting to our gate, we were given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity of going through the special security check, where the flight crew get to go through. Finally, we arrive at our gate and start to board our plane. Here, we are starting to calm down and are relieved.

After two three hour flights, where we all slept and wrote in our journals, we arrived in Belize. We went to our hotel, got dinner, had a worship session, and here we are now.

Thanks Mike Chen PhD

Valentia Shen


  1. Wow, what a crazy morning! Praise God, though, we'll be praying for you guys, especially against those mosquitos!
    p.s. i like the random shout out to michael? haha

  2. WOW!!!! how exCITING!!! it's like your own action movie! can't wait to hear how the rest of it unfolds. yay for momma and papa shen flying to the rescue :]] what did Dr. Chen do for you? just be awesome?

  3. Oh sorry forgot to say the letter per day from home.

    Micheal Chen was yesterday.

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