Encountering Another World
Go back with me to October and November of 2006 for an adventure of a lifetime. Since there is no distance in the spirit, I’m inviting you to go with Clare Fischer, David Copeland, Lane Holland and me as we board the plane on the evening of October 30, 2006 for the overnight flight that takes us to Madrid Spain.Finding our assigned seats we settle down with pillows and blankets. It’s time to lean back and take a deep breath, allowing weariness to drain away. As the plane lifts our spirits take flight, and we walk with the Father on the wings of the wind. He has answered our prayers; His angels are present. Our plane cuts a path through the darkness that covers the rainy skies of Atlanta.
After a night of off and on napping in the darkness, bright sunshine pours in the window. With blinking eyelids we try to shut out the light before becoming fully awake. This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad. Our second day begins as we are preparing to land in Madrid, Spain. From there we will take the connecting flight to Málaga, a port city in southern Spain on the Costa del Sol coast of the Mediterranean.
We make our connecting flight without incident, and in a short time we are in the Málaga airport where our host is awaiting our arrival. Collecting our luggage (not one piece missing) we make our way to the van. Soon the baggage is heaped into the back and we climb in for the drive to the nearby town of Torremolinos.
The many hours of flying have produced travel fatigue, and we are eagerly looking forward to arriving at our temporary housing. There we settle in and prepare for an evening with our host and his family. Filing through the front door, we get hugs from Gail whose joyful laughter refreshes our souls, and their son, Paul. Grateful we sit down to dinner.
Here in the warm embrace of this loving family Morocco seems far away. Gail assures us that she understands if we choose not to linger after eating. We say a hasty, “Thank you for the delicious dinner, and goodnight.”
The new day arrives, and we look out to see the beauty of the mountains against the sunny blue skies. It’s a holiday for Spain and there are hunters silhouetted against this beautiful canvas of God’s creation. The very heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows and proclaims His handiwork. (Psalm 19:1) How can man not believe in God, the Master Creator?
It is November 1, 2006, and we are enjoying our one designated rest day. With cameras in place, we drive to Benalmedina Puerto Marina for lunch. Letting go of apprehensions, we exit the van and take pleasure in the moment by strolling along the sidewalk. Some of us leave to browse through the shops, while others are strolling over to sit by the water where we take in the sights and sounds that surround us.
Too quickly the day comes to a close, and we head back to Torremolinos for another yummy dinner and an evening of fellowship and prayer with our hosts. As we pray around the table excitement mounts; reality sets in – tomorrow we leave for Morocco.
Early morning on November 2, 2006, with bleary eyes, we stand in the mist watching David and Andy load the van for our long-awaited prayer journey to the Kingdom of Morocco where the state religion is Islam. Lane, Clare and I sit in the back seat, and I am dozing between conversations as we make our way to the ferry terminal at Algeciras (Spain).
Arriving at our destination, Andy drives into the cavernous depths of the large vessel that will transport us to Ceuta (Spanish Morocco) across the Straits of Gibraltar. When Andy parks we quickly climb out of the van and make our way up the stairs to the passengers’ deck where we have breakfast before weathering the outdoors.
Going outside we stand on the deck with the wind and heavy mist spraying our faces, I sense the presence of Jesus who walked on the water. My heart swells with deep vibrations of the old hymn: “On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand” as we pass the Rock of Gibraltar. The sweet aroma of our Savior strengthens me in spirit, soul and body.
Much too soon, Andy corrals us and herds us below where we make our way to the van and prepare to leave the ferry. (There is no distance in the spirit, and I am making mention of you in my silent prayer thanking the Father that you are one with us.)
Tension slowly builds as we approach the Moroccan border. The anxiety slips away like a discarded sweater as we perceive the powerful prayer covering that you have created with their prayers. Peace that passes understanding surrounds us while Andy talks with the border guards, fills out the necessary forms and presents our passports. Praise the Lord! It is happening just as we had asked the Father: entry into the exotic and colorful Kingdom of Morocco is being facilitated smoothly (Proverbs 3:1-6 goes into effect).
Leaving the border behind, Andy drives us through small villages and beautiful countryside. Men are gathered at cafes drinking coffee; women in hooded djellabahs (the traditional dress) walk along the streets.
Miraculously transported back in time to the days of Jesus, we watch shepherds with their sheep and view large expanses of olive trees, citrus orchards, sugar cane fields and vineyards. Our senses are stirred as the dust of this unique country seeps into the very air we breathe. We are grateful for each stop we make. Prayer and the delightful strong Moroccan coffee keep us alert on the long drive to our destination.
Finally, remembering those long ago days when my husband and I traveled with our four children, I mimic, “Are we there yet?” Still laughing it seems our seven-hour drive is coming to a close. Andy is turning off the main road onto a muddy lane that takes us through a small rundown village. As we slowly make our way between the low concrete dwellings and shops, the villagers move closer to the buildings, dogs and chickens scatter.With bored expressions the young men watch us drive by. Women keep their eyes averted. A few hundred feet away is the gate to the children’s home, a bright spot in this community. Elated, we pull up and stop at the main house where many Moroccan children have been reared and educated in a loving environment for the past 50 years. Many have graduated and gone on to University, and some have even returned to work at the Haven.
Happily, we alight from the “full-up” van and enter the main building. We are invited to the lounge, and I renew acquaintances and introduce the directors, Jim and Barbara Pitts, and Annette, who is a special friend to the prayer team.
Ready for refreshments, we enjoy tea and cookies while Andy is finishing with the business of delivering the clothing and other items Gail has sent.
The sun is lowering in the sky as we disembark at the hotel in Ifrane, an Alpine village built by the French in the 1930’s. Our arrival begins with greetings from an English-speaking clerk who directs us to our rooms. With hearts of gratitude we thank the Father for traveling mercies. Even while hurrying to our rooms with our luggage we are looking forward to our first authentic Moroccan dinner in a nearby restaurant. Soon we retire to our rooms for some much needed sleep. Tomorrow our tour officially begins.
To Be ContinuedCopyright 2006 by Germaine Copeland