If like me you were not affected by the volcanic ash cloud I guess we can count ourselves fortunate. However, thousands of travellers have been left stranded around the world and some of them are mission workers. Those who were travelling within Europe could find alternative ground transport to reach their destination but many could not fly into Europe and their plans were unavoidably affected.
The cause of all the disruption and frustration is the volcano under the Eyjafjallajokull glacier in Iceland which spewed ash into Europe’s air space. Airlines cancelled flights because of the risk of flying through fine volcanic ash which posed problems for aircraft engines.
One missionary stated that the volcano chaos is a reminder that ‘God is in charge’ and another leader is quoted as saying ‘there is something bigger than our plans and there is a God in charge’. ‘Just one simple volcano can throw everything we’re doing upside down’.
Thankfully none of the Mission Aviation Fellowship’s mission work was affected by the ash cloud due to its focus on Africa, Asia and Latin America.
It is estimated that global airlines have lost about $1.7 billion (£1.1bn) of revenue as a result of the disruptions with an estimated 1.2 million passengers affected each day following the six day shutdown of airspace. Most flights have since resumed in the UK with several airports in Scotland closed due to the ash.
I have friends in Thailand who are into their third week of their planned two week stay and have just confirmed a return flight home in twelve days time. I guess we have to accept there are times when things are just simply out of our control but in those times to rest safe in the knowledge that ‘God is in charge’.