Tonight I bought 19 plane tickets to take our Pathfinder Club from here to Arizona. Well – the plane will only go so far as Albuquerque, NM. That’s about the closest commercial airport to Holbrook as is feasible.

The original plan was to buy the tickets yesterday. However, we wanted to talk to the “group travel desk” and they don’t work on the weekend. So we opted to wait another day.

On Saturday night after sunset, I went to our local grocery store and rented three Rug Doctors. My five African refugee club members showed up at 6:00pm, and we spent the next three hours cleaning the carpets. Beth came with us and kept our 8 pitchers of water full. The machines would spew the hot water onto the carpet and then suck it back up again into a waste tank. The water was filthy when we got it back, so I know the carpets are much cleaner than they were before we started.

The girls cleaned the fellowship hall and then we did the Sanctuary (which was twice the size of the fellowship hall). For the Sanctuary we had to move all the chairs to one side, clean, and then move them to the clean side and repeat. The hard part was getting them all back into a reasonable place.

So they have earned their plane tickets and I am very proud of them.

I met Shaun after work and we called the group travel desk at Southwest. Before we called though we had a prayer with the Pastor (who was still there). We prayed that the Lord would keep us all on the same flight and that we would get a good price – it’s His money after all.

Then we called. The only advantage I could see to group travel was that all 19 tickets would be for the same flight. But they wanted more than double what we eventually paid. Instead, we opted to buy them online – eight tickets at a time.

The first eight were far less than the prices they had listed yesterday. The return flight went up $25 on the second batch, and that was still $25 better than yesterday’s price. That price held on the last batch of three tickets too, and we all made it onto the same flight.

I am excited! We have tickets, and it didn’t take all the money we had saved up! Now I guess we can afford to eat, and if we raise some more money, we should be able to pay for ground transportation from the airport to the reservation.