"I was a stranger, and ye took me in . . I was sick, and ye visited me." Matt. 25:35-36.
It is very difficult to live alone in today's sophicated world. Therefore, I was excited when I had the opportunity to share a long flight from Los Angeles to Bangladesh. I would like to share my story with you.
I was at the airport ready to board my flight when a stranger approached me. "Alpha (sister in Muslim terms), where are you going?" she asked. I replied, "I am going to Bangladesh." She then asked, "Could you please help my mother? She is going to Bangladesh too and she is scared to be traveling alone."
I immediately agreed to care for this stranger's mother. I looked forward to the company. After introductions were made, my new friend, Boro Ahapa, and I boarded a huge double-decker plane. After twelve hours of flight, we landed at the Narita Airport in Japan. The plane needed fuel. Because I had not been assigned a seat next to my new friend, I took the opportunity to check on her. She said she wasn't feeling well. I too was feeling a bit sick. We both decided to forgo the next meal served on the plane.
After refueling, the plane took off for the second leg of our journey. We traveled for eight hours. We landed at the Singapore Airport at 1:00 a.m. We had a six-hour layover until our next flight. Boro Ahapa, four other women, and I sat together in a waiting area. We rested and spent time talking t o one another.
By 5:00 a.m., Boro Ahapa still was not feeling well. She was feeling very giddy. She asked me to pour water over her head. I did that, but she still felt bad. She began to cry. She said she thought she was going to die.
I was very worried. I was taking care of a stranger who spoke no English. I prayed to the Lord. Then I went to the information desk at the airport. I requested a doctor. Unfortunately, the airport security person could not get in touch with a physician. I became more worried.
Eventually a nurse was sent to check on Boro Ahapa. After examining her, he said she was in need of a doctor's care. He called a physician and explained the urgency of the situation. The doctor arrived at 7:00 a.m. and immediately decided Boro Ahapa needed to go to his clinic.
I was in a predicament. If I went to the clinic with my new friend, I would miss my plane. I thought about the fact that I am a Christian nurse and a pastor's wife. I felt she needed help so I went to the clinic with her.
After examining Boro Ahapa, the doctor discovered she had high blood pressure. He gave her some medicine and stressed the importance of her taking the medicine regularly. He presented Boro Ahapa with a bill for $120.00. The bill seemed somewhat high so I requested that the doctor lower the cost of the visit. Fortunately he did. He charged Boro Ahapa $100.00 and she paid it with a check.
We returned to the airport in a miraculously short time. I could not believe that our plane had not departed. God had worked a miracle. Bore Ahapa and I boarded the plane. We were able to sit by one another. My new friend was feeling better and I praised God for the care he had given us. Boro Ahapa said, "Christian people are good and helpful people. I will not forget you as long as I live."
As Boro Ahapa and I talked, I asked her if she knew why her blood pressure had risen so high. She told me she had been worried about her golden ornaments. She had put them in her luggage and then forgotten to lock her bags. She was worried the golden ornaments would be taken by the custom officers at the Bangladesh Airport. Her worry over her material possessions had almost killed her.
Life is more valuable than time and golden ornaments. I praise God that I was given an opportunity to share that fact with Boro Ahapa. She and I discussed the power of our loving Lord Jesus Christ. We talked of the miracles that had occurred on our trip. God had placed me in a position where I could "love my neighbor as myself." I pray that the same opportunity will come to each of you.