This picture was taken at 3:21 AM this morning on I-24. Let me tell you about it…

The Westside Guatemala team made our way back home yesterday morning. Mario, our primary assistant and translator at the Guatemala orphanage, took us on the 45 minute drive to the airport. We took off and landed in Atlanta 3 1/2 hours later.

We were supposed to have an anticipated 3 1/2 hour layover in Atlanta. But, due to severe weather that had pummeled the airport in the hour before we landed, planes were backed up and people were everywhere! The airport was as packed as I have ever seen it. Our flight to Nashville was soon posting a delay.

Frank Finley had volunteered to drive our church bus to the Nashville airport to pick us up and drive us back to Murray. To get ahead of the severe weather in Murray, he had arrived at the Nashville airport ahead of time.

I texted him to let him know that we’d be showing up later than planned. He texted back and said, “I’ll be here 👍.”

But, then we were informed that our plane was “broken” (yes, that’s how they described our plane over the intercom). So, we had to wait … and wait … and wait.

We finally took off at 2:21 AM (EST) and landed in Nashville at 2 AM (CST) – a few hours later than scheduled.

Frank met us with a smile and helped to load the bus with our luggage. Most of our group sat in the bus as Frank drove us toward Murray. The Alexanders would hop in their vehicle soon and make the drive home.

At one point, I asked Frank: “Are you working today?”

He said, “Yes, I’ll get there at 7 AM.”

Knowing that we would arrive in Murray around 5 AM, I said: “Wow! You aren’t going to get any sleep!”

He replied: “It’s not a problem. It will just give me something to look forward to tonight.”

Driving all of us home safely wasn’t just a kind gesture – Frank made a personal sacrifice for us. I can’t express enough how grateful I am for people like him that shine the light of Christ’s love and demonstrate the kind of sacrificial love that the Good Samaritan had for someone in need.

May his tribe increase!

UPDATE (1:45 PM): I just got a text from Frank. He received word that he didn’t need to go in to work today which leads me to two conclusions: 1) He assisted us before he knew this which makes his sacrifice real, and 2) God knew he needed the rest. God is good, all the time!