Angel in Angola’s Airport
By Andrew McChesney, Adventist Mission
Do angels live in airports?
A TAAG Angolan Airlines airplane deposited me late one evening in Angola’s capital, Luanda. I had a two-hour layover before catching the next flight to the island nation of São Tomé and Príncipe to collect mission stories.
At the designated time printed on my boarding pass, I joined a long waiting line to the departure area. But when I offered my boarding pass, the airline representative turned me away with a slew of Portuguese words. Seeing my confusion, she summoned a security officer, who explained that I needed to wait 20 minutes.
Twenty minutes later, the airline representative accepted my boarding pass and directed me into a crowded room. I waited 15 minutes.
Then another airline representative called out, “São Tomé!” I joined a crowd waiting to take an escalator down to the departure area on the ground floor. But this airline representative, guarding entry to the escalator, rejected my boarding pass with a fresh slew of Portuguese words. No security officer was present to interpret, and I guessed I would have to wait 20 minutes.
Other passengers streamed down the escalator, and soon only a few people remained in the room. I decided to go. Nobody remained to check my boarding pass. At the bottom of the escalator, I joined a chaotic line of waiting people.
The minutes ticked by, and no bus came to take us to the plane.
Then a young man with brown hair and a tan knapsack slung over his shoulder cut in front of me in line. Idly, I wondered why he hadn’t gone to the back of the line. After a few minutes, he looked at me and said, “My English”.
I had no idea what he meant. I guessed that he only spoke Portuguese.
The man gestured toward the crowd around us.
“This flight is to Portugal”, he said, speaking in slightly accented English. “São Tomé is over there.” He pointed down the hall.
“Thank you!” I exclaimed — and ran. Sure enough, a bus stood waiting down the hall, and its doors closed shortly after I boarded.
Seated on the sparsely filled airplane, I thought back to the stranger in the airport. How did he know that I spoke English? I hadn’t communicated with anyone. How did he know where I was going? My boarding pass had been tucked in my pocket. Why did he cut in front of me in line and single me out of the crowd?
Arriving in São Tomé, I told my story to local church leader Eliseu R. Xavier. He declared that God had sent an angel. If I had missed the flight, he said, I would have been stranded for three days in Luanda. The airline only flies to São Tomé three times a week.
I have no doubt. Airports are home to angels.
Produced by the General Conference Office of Adventist Mission. Find more mission stories at adventistmission[dot]org
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