“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord… We’re so thankful that He does!


Over the Ocean – close to Cairns, Australia – a LONG flight (14 hours).

According to the dim glow emanating from the LCD screen in front of me, I am writing to you from 34,000 feet approximately 500 miles off the eastern coast of Australia.

What a whirlwind of activity the last few months have been.  Packing up our home in the Philippines, preparing for the quadrennial General Assembly in Indianapolis (June), arriving in the States on May 5th, speaking across the nation from the West Coast to Ohio, officiating our Niece’s wedding in Central California, a family reunion in Idaho, a mission open house at Mission Aviation Headquarters in Nampa, taking EVERY opportunity to love on our kids and grand baby, and now…preparing to descend to a new chapter south of the equator!

We’re glad that the Lord has promised us, “He knows the plans He has for us,” because a year ago and even as late a today, I certainly wouldn’t have anticipated this plan!

On Thursday morning, we met at a local restaurant with our kids and parents for a late brunch and then headed to the Boise Airport to say our good byes.   At the airport we were informed of a baggage embargo (limiting the number of checked bags allowed during this period of the year) and so we began the process of unpacking our action packers to turn 6 packers into 4.

Our prayer is always that we represent Christ well, regardless of the circumstances faced, and so thanking the counter agent for her understanding (as she processed our passports and tickets and gave us time to go and re-pack all of our bags) we started unloading in the lobby of the airport.  The young counter agent was from Guam and we had shared our connection of living in Micronesia back in the 90s and how much we had loved Guam and the people there. There was a connection and I think she was amazed that we weren’t having a typical “passenger meltdown.”

About 25 minutes later, as we were repacking, the counter agent came up to us and said that she had worked with her supervisor, had pulled some strings, and that we were going to be able to send all 6 bags, and be charged no luggage fees for the extra two pieces!  Connie was in tears of joy!  So we re-packed a third time and sent the bags through.  (Thank you to our girls and parents for helping us navigate this small hurdle!)

And then our flight was delayed….  Before we even said goodbye to family, we were informed that the smoke on the West Coast had snarled traffic in Seattle and that our flight was pushed back an hour, giving us just 9 minutes connection time in Seattle.  Then pushed back again, and now we would be arriving after our connecting flight was to have departed.

I’ll tell you, technology is great!  While we were sitting at the gate, we received an email from Delta alerting us that they had gone ahead and cancelled our reservations for today and re-booked us for Saturday, getting us into Cairns late Sunday night.  Not what we wanted to hear…but at least we were informed (thank you Delta for doing a good job of keeping us informed!)

Connie, seeing challenges as opportunities to make new friends!

And so… quick keyboarding by desk agents, some more “strings pulled” a reroute through Salt Lake City, and rather than having to go home, come back and repeat the checkin, security, wait game a day later, we made it to LAX and are flying on our original international flight and will be landing in 57 minutes in Sydney.  What did we gain?  New friends and new connections with more people who will hear about what God is doing!

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you.”  Jeremiah 29:11-12

Connie and I rest in the assurance that He does have our plans in His hand.  Our job is to remain patient and to look for the opportunities to be “Salt and Light” and to respond in a counter-cultural way…to respond with grace and peace regardless of what we are facing.

Then God can use us wherever we go.  I just smiled in amazement once again as the desk agents came up and gave Connie a hug after closing the gate and leaving (while we stayed waiting patiently for our re-booked flight).

Thank you Lord for another day to serve!  And thanks to each one of you who continue to pray and encourage us along this journey.

Todd and Connie Lou – from Cairns to you!

20 thoughts on ““For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord… We’re so thankful that He does!”

  1. God amazing!
    It is encouraging and inspiring to hear the many ways God uses you….and your turning problems into opportunities.
    Thanks for sharing
    Jeanne D

  2. Yes you two are living proof of when we alow God to direct he takes care of all the problems just pray he continues to use and bless you and protect you

  3. Thank you, Todd, for sharing your example of using every day, ALL day, to praise God. Not always as easy as you make it sound here, in spite of so many reasons to believe things were going against you both! I pray God’s love and protection to continue to surround you both as you honor Him.

    1. Thanks Ruth for the encouragement. We pray for strength to see God’s hand in all circumstances. Definitely easier sometimes than others! Surely appreciate the prayers!

    1. Regina,
      We were sorry we didn’t get to connect with you more when we were stateside. We understand how things happen! 🙂 Too much to do and not nearly enough time to do it all!
      We so appreciate your prayers over the years, through many different countries, you have faithfully lifted us in prayer and we are so grateful!

      Together for Him,
      Connie Lou
      for Todd too!

  4. Todd, Connie’s Grandma Irene checking in. What a relief to know that all is well in God’s plan, and you made it through all of what we would call “goofs” and arrived. How great is our God!! Loads of love and prayers are with you.

    1. Grandma Irene,

      Thank you for checking in on us! Yes, God is so good and never ceases to amaze me with how He can orchestrate all things together for good! We are safely in Australia and had a wonderful Sunday of worship at a church near by, meeting some of the MAF staff there as well. We are up early, thanks to jet lag, and are preparing to drive a few hours to the Mareeba site to meet more of the team.
      Your prayers are so appreciated as we face this new journey that God has placed us on. We recognize that it is only by His power and leading that we will be able to accomplish what is needed. Prayers for sensitivity to the spirit and Holy boldness are much appreciated!

      Love you!
      Connie Lou
      for Todd too!

  5. Thank you for sharing the amazing ways God is working in your lives. It is not easy to be thankful in all circumstances as 1Th 5:17 says. Both of you are an example to me and I am sure to others of doing what this verse says. It is God’s will for us to be thankful in all circumstances as the last part of the verse says. Praying for you and your ministry.

    1. Marzella,

      Good to hear from you! We miss having class with you, and hearing your great insights as we each comment and share about what we are learning! Todd and I took a few months off as we knew we would have much too much on our plates with the transition. But yesterday we started the paperwork to get back into it and sign up for another course!
      Thank you for the prayers for this new journey and ministry God has called us to. I pray that God would continue to guide and direct you and your ministry as well and that we each would be always open to the Holy Spirits leading in our lives!

      Together for Him,
      Connie Lou
      for Todd too!

    1. Hi Cindy!
      Thank you for the blessing and for the prayers! Yes, we too hope to one day reconnect! We only had a short time together, but really felt God’s leading in our connection and know that He has a greater purpose! Who knows where we will run into you two in the future! But I do look forward to that day! Until then, may God bless you and your family and your ministries! May we each be sensitive to His leading in our lives, our ministries and our interactions with others!

      Together for Him,
      Connie Lou
      for Todd too!

  6. Your testimony of Jesus as Lord of you lives is lived out in your every day lives. As the saying goes “you walk the talk. I’m always blessed reading your travel/ministry stories. God was truly using you in your experience at the airport in re to packing & re-packing. I’m sure the employees won’t soon forget your calming spirit as that is not the “norm” they see much. Always prayers for you both. God bless

    1. Hi Sandy and Doug!
      Thanks for your message and encouraging words. And thank you so much for the many prayers for us! You and Doug have a very special place in our hearts and in our prayers! Your love and support of Doug and your family is an inspiration to us! We pray for peace and strength along with healing and special times together!

      Together for Him,
      Connie Lou
      for Todd too!

    1. Hi Les and Debbie,

      Thank you for the encouragement! We sure do appreciate your love and prayers! We have finished our first week of orientation in Australia, and are even more excited to step into this new ministry!

      Together for Him,
      Connie Lou

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