Tuesday, January 21, 2014

The Journey to Retrieve the Missing Bag: Part Two

Read Part One, click here.

Previously: "Upon our arrival to LTO we were told to go to one location. Well, that was the wrong one, so we walked 5 blocks to the correct location. Once there, we realized there was a dress code and we were not dressed to meet the requirements."

Thankfully we were carrying our luggage because we were returning that night to Caticlan on the boat. In our bags I had capris and closed toe shoes and a decent dress shirt. So after putting those clothes on over my other ones, they let us in. I’m sure I was a laughing matter for all them, but I didn’t care, I was on a mission. 

Ana and I started in one office then were directed to 3 more at that location before finally getting the right person we needed to see. Well, when we got to his office, it was lunch hour so we had to wait. We went and got lunch ourselves and I was so hot I just DE-layered my clothing as we were walking to lunch. Once again, I’m sure I turned some heads, but oh well!

After lunch we went to the office we were directed to previously and learned it was not the right place. We walked 6 blocks to the correct building and in there we were able to get the info we needed! Turns out it was all the same info we had that morning so we decided to return to the location 6 blocks back to file a claim. Once we waited for our turn there we learned we had to do this process in a certain order, meaning we had to go to the cab operator and start there before making a claim. The man there said if security does not let you through then get a police officer, we have rights!

With official papers in hand we set out back to where we started that morning. At this point it is 4pm and our bus was leaving at 5pm. There was no way we were going to make it, but we had come too far to give up so we just decided we would go change our ticket and leave the next day. But first, we had a cab operator to see. We chose to travel via subway and then jeepney this time!

Upon returning to the exact location we started at that morning, we were able to finally talk to the operator. Once she learned we were downstairs, she was very kind to meet us and begin trying to track the driver down. Also my phrases like “we are going to file a claim”and “I am going to the police” lit a little fire under her tail and she got things rolling.

The driver and his info could not be found, but she was going to the main office at 4am the next day and invited us to go along. After giving her my contact info we set out to the main office to change our boat ticket. After taking another jeepney to our location were learned that we actually had to go the the North Pier (20min away) to change our ticket. So once again, here we go. (jeepney, then cab) We were able to get the ticket changed for p880 which translates to about 20 American dollars, but there were no tickets available for the next day (Friday) so we had to schedule for Saturday instead. 

At this point its 8 pm and we are exhausted and hungry. On our way out of the pier I saw an elderly woman and her small granddaughter carrying a bag. It was heavy so they carried it about 5 feet stopped, and carried again. Each time stopping after five feet. Well I gave Ana my bag and asked the lady if I could carry it for her. She said yes and I followed her to her location and set it down. When I did she said thank you and her granddaughter did to. My reply was, your are very welcome and God bless you. When I turned to leave 3 men and a lady sitting there said “thank you for helping her. She is from an outcast tribe and nobody helps their kind, ever” and I said “well I don’t look at the outside, I look within like my Lord” and they said “ so you are a Christian” and I said “yes, born again (this is what they call us here)” and the lady said “you have made a difference in her life today” and to that I just said thank you and walked off. I never, for one second, thought not to carry that bag. 

I’m thankful for moments like these in the midst of utter chaos when God reminds me that it’s all about HIM. After all, we were really getting somewhere with the pink bag situation and all I could do is give Him praise.

That night Ana and I stayed with her sister and the next morning we all set out at 4am to go meet this driver. We road with the operator, Josie, out to the location which was about one hour away. When we arrived we were instructed to just sit and wait for Peter to show up (the driver). Well 6am rolled around and no Peter. At that point Ana sister chimed in to get things moving. Finally, Josie came up with Peter’s info and we got him on the phone and he came down to the office. It took him two hours to get there so we went and had some pancakes for breakfast first. When Peter arrived the Josie asked if he recognized me. He said he did and I then I said we left a bag in your cab a few days back and to that he said, yes, a pink bag. So immediately I knew he had seen it.

Then he began to trail off on how he had not seen it and had no idea. Well at that point my friend Ana chimed in. Now I have never seen her so adamant about anything, but this had already been a long few days and we were tired of the run around. The man continued to stick to his story until Ana mentioned we were going to the police. Peter still wanted to help us “track” down the bag. As this discussion was taking place between he and Ana (of which I only could understand a little because they were speaking Tagalog) I began to pray. 

I prayed for truth and clarity. I prayed for complete brokenness for Peter. After about ten minutes of Ana pressing the issue with him he finally broke. He admitted that he had the bag and had the Kindles! Yall, I began to cry. Literally crying in front of everyone and saying, "Thank You Jesus," out loud. I mean a HUGE prayer had been answered. The impossible was possible. The Lord answered our prayers and we got the Kindles back. 

Now I know to most of you this may seem silly, but to us this was huge. My children were on their knees about this issue and God came through. Did He have to, no. But, He did and for that I am so thankful. My kids at six, four, and two years of age got to experience their God are such a big way!!!

Thankfully through all our adventures and trials Ana and I made it back home in the early hours of Sunday morning with Kindles in hand. The pink bag stayed with her sister because her niece needed a back pack for school! God is so good!! Even if we had not gotten the Kindles back, God is still good, but this time our faith was so very strengthen and we praise His name and His alone.

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