I was scheduled to travel to New York City to attend a conference from 3 to 13 September 2016. It was one of my typical conference trips but this time round, my wife felt uneasy as I would be near the vicinity of the World Trade Center on 11 September, the place that was attacked by the terrorists in 2001 on the same day. She prayed for my safety and asked me to do so as well.
On 3 September 2016, I flew to Narita, Tokyo to transit to the States. As I was about to board the flight from Narita to Houston, Texas, I remembered what Pastor Prince said about divine protection during overseas travel. As I stepped into the plane, I touched the plane with my hands and declared the blood of Jesus over it. After we had been seated for a while, we were told that the plane had some technical issues and the take–off would be delayed. I did not think much of it and waited for another 30 minutes until another announcement advised the passengers to leave the plane and wait at the lobby area as the delay was going to be longer than expected.
Over time, more and more passengers left the plane for the lobby area. Everyone was getting more restless, curious and apprehensive.
After waiting for around two hours, an airline crew member announced that the flight was cancelled, as the rudder had a faulty actuator which could not be replaced within the short timeframe. He mentioned that flight cancellation was extremely rare in his 34 years of service as it would be very costly for the airline to do so, and thus, the replacement would be done only when it was absolutely necessary. The airline provided us with overnight accommodation and meals in Japan and tried to arrange replacement flights for us on the following day.
Initially, I felt a bit lost as this was my first time encountering a flight cancellation. Furthermore, around the same time, the news also reported that strong winds were brewing in the vicinity of Japan. I grew concerned that I might be grounded in Japan and would not be able to reach New York in time for the conference. Yet, at the same time, I thanked God that I did not board the plane that had a technical issue! With a peace of mind that God is watching over me, I stayed over in Japan for a night.
The next morning, I immediately called the airline to book another flight to New York. Although the lady on the phone mentioned that flights to the States were almost fully booked, I managed to book a flight to New York via Los Angeles (LA) on the same day. Furthermore, I got a free upgrade to my preferred airline! It was God’s blessing in disguise.
At LA, while I thought that I could fly to New York smoothly, I was shocked to find out that my phone booking for the flight was not done properly and the boarding pass could not be printed. The airline did not resolve the problem in time to issue me a boarding pass, and as a result, I missed my flight again! They later arranged for me to board another flight on the same day and gave me the only available seat in the First Class cabin, which I took for the first time in my life!
Finally, with God’s protection and favour, I reached my destination and attended the conference as scheduled.
Then on 11 September, I was scheduled to fly back to Singapore via Hong Kong on the same airline that was hijacked in 2001. Despite the coincidence, I put my trust in the Lord and prayed for divine protection.
Interestingly, just before boarding the plane towards Hong Kong, the airline crew announced that some of the seats had to be reshuffled as the plane had too many empty seats and they needed to redistribute the weight onboard. This caused a slight commotion among passengers, delaying the take–off for more than an hour.
Although I had only more than an hour to transit in Hong Kong, I did not panic about missing my connecting flight home as I knew that God would watch over me just like before.
In the end, although I was already mentally prepared to stay over in Hong Kong, I was pleased to know that the plane waited for us even though we reached Hong Kong later than scheduled. I also managed to come back to Singapore safely.
Pastor Prince, thank you very much for your ministry and your expounding on the Scriptures, especially on Psalm 91! All praises to the Lord!