News and Stories from the Vancouver Airport Chapel - Summer 2018
Chapel Summer: A great summer highlight for the Chapel Team was our annual BBQ at the lovely home of Darrell & Donna Boyd and his gracious Mom Iris. This year 58 people came out for sunny fellowship, delicious food (including Iris' butter tarts!!) and encouraging music from our friend Jeff Weins.
Chaplain Emeritus Layne Daggett reminded us at the BBQ of our remarkable foundations, as we were celebrating the 35th Anniversary of the Chapel ministry at the Vancouver Airport. We are also currently saying our goodbyes and words of appreciation to past Board Chair Terry Clements, as he went home to be with the Lord on August 7. His joyful memorial is being hosted by Sunshine Ridge Baptist Church on Sat. August 25, 1pm.
Fall Plans: For all volunteers, we're planning a Fall Team-Building Event in early November, to increase our team spirit and to motivate us in our service at YVR. We want to get excited about our annual Holiday Drop-In in December, in which we strive to attract many YVR employees to the Chapel for home-made goodies and an opportunity to experience what the Chapel offers them.
People Stories: Strange passenger stories often occur at an airport, and here's two of them from July:
1. A kind grandmother and her 17 year old track star granddaughter were stranded at YVR on their way from Dallas-Ft.Worth to an international trackmeet in Brisbane, Australia (Q1 - why did they come through Canada?). The young athlete had her Aussie visa but somehow the grandmother did not (Q2 - how did that happen?... Answers: there are always reasons, usually mixed with lapses and oversights along the way, eh?.... it's called 'experience'!)
They tried for 3 days to get the visa from the Australian Consulate in Vancouver, but to no avail.... and slept on chairs at YVR each night! Finally they were directed to the Chapel where they got a good night's sleep and a sympathetic ear, but weren't able to change the outcome. I did help them get their Air Canada ticket changed to return quickly to Dallas (free of charge), but we could only pray they might get some of the money returned for their overseas flights (booked through an online website).
Indeed a tough story, but we were impressed with the faith and resilience of the grandmother and the patience of the dear granddaughter, who never complained a moment about her lost opportunity to compete. God bless them and hopefully she'll run overseas in the future!
2. The next day a befuddled woman and her 12 year old son had surrendered three large boxes of goods they were hoping to take from Asia to Alaska because officers would not allow them through Customs. I was called to the Information Counter to help employees decide what to do with the boxes, no longer wanted by the family. It was a cultural experience, as the embarrassed mother and her equally embarrassed (but English-speaking) 12 year old son stood watching sheepishly, while different YVR personnel arrived and eventually opened and sorted the contents of the boxes (then I understood why Customs had refused them!).
The boxes contained cigarettes, new shoes, loads of nail salon supplies, fragrant artificial flowers and incredibly smelly plastic bags of dried fish and crab meat!! You can imagine the odors wafting from this scene and why passengers began to avoid the Information Counter altogether, eh? What a sight..... and I felt for the poor maintenance employees who had to deal with the contents, including cutting open the bags and separating the meat from the plastic packaging... all part of our 'western' culture to recycle properly!
Well....all in a day's work, eh? In the end I hated to see all of those new items being thrown away, so I was able to salvage a big bouquet of artificial but real-looking tulips, which you can see if you come to visit the Chapel!
Conclusion: Yes, as a Chapel Team, we have many opportunities to serve the traveling public (85,000 per DAY this summer!), and the many thousands who call YVR their place of work. It's indeed a privilege to show God's grace and mercy to everyone whom we get opportunity to serve. Thanks for your part in supporting us through your interest, prayers and gifts.
And remember, you too have opportunity every day to show God's love and grace to those around you!
GOD BLESS AND KEEP YOU,