When our group arrived at the airport in Tarapoto, some twenty hours and four airports after their journey began, the joy on their faces was amazing to see! Needless to say hugs were exchanged and laughter was heard ringing throughout the airport and the parking lot. At one point we noticed the awkward looking package. When we commented on it we were told that it was our Easter candle. (For those of you who have forgotten the size of the Easter candle please take note of it at the Easter Vigil mass or Easter Sunday mass this weekend. These are not small candles and they do not easily fit into luggage as our friends found out.) Taylor and I never asked for an Easter candle but nonetheless we were happy that they brought one. Now we were just trying to think of where we can put this candle.
Later that afternoon we were told the whole story of the Easter candle. Taylor's great-aunt and great-uncle bought this easter candle in 2010. They intended on lighting the candle for their anniversary every year but they never did. The day before the group was scheduled to leave Lorraine gave the candle to Heidi and asked her to take it Peru. Heidi excepted it and then had the challenge of finding a suitcase to bring it in. Every suitcase she tried didn't work. The candle ended up sticking out about six inches of each one. It was then decided that they would just carry the candle.
When they got to the airport they were told they would have to check another bag if they wanted to carry the candle on. After talking it over they decided to check an extra bag and carried it onto the flight. During security the candle was flagged as a suspicious device but once it was determined to be a candle they were able to go through without another problem. The group did note that the handling of the candle was very different in the US compared to Mexico where they had their first layover. The candle was handled more aggressively in the US. It was shoved around in the overhead bin by the airline staff. In Mexico it was handled with great care in security; it was placed alone on the conveyer belt. The airline staff also cared for it gently. The difference between both countries surprised the group.
By the time the group handed the candle to us they were happy to be done with it. Bringing the candle ended up being more difficult and more burdensome than expected so being able to hand it off brought great joy to the group. None of us were aware of what the Lord had planned for this candle.
God answered the prayer of our amazing priests from Spain by some friends of the American missionaries for the people of Picota, Peru.
God does answer prayers. Sometimes it doesn't happen the way you want it, sometimes it is not the answer you want, sometimes it is simply be patient, and other times he answers them through people you have never even met. But God ALWAYS answers prayers.