Friday, January 15, 2010


There has been a complication. Johnny needed an extra Visa the travel agency did not inform them about, or the people at the airport gave them incorrect information, so they did not get on their flight and are stuck in Ethiopia, desperately trying to get home. Right now they are rescheduled on a flight arriving on tomorrow, Saturday, at 6:15pm into Greensboro. We will let you all know if anything changes again. Sorry for the miss post this morning. Please keep the Pells in your prayers. They need them so much.

Here is an email from Sarah below on what has been going on:

We went to the airport last night and were turned away. They told us we needed an Italian Visa for Johnny in order to enter Italy when we changed planes. We had no idea what to do and the supervisor said he would contact the Italian embassy to gain approval. He tried to no avail.

We took a taxi back to our hotel (me sobbing the entire way) and got on the internet to try and contact our travel agent. I was furious we were not warned of this. She said they should have let us through no problem and it was their fault. She got us on a flight arriving in Greensboro on the 16th at 6:15 going through Germany this time. We finally got to bed around 3:00 am and then met some others that hadn't left yet for breakfast. They told us Germany was a problem as well, which of course our travel agent did not. I am furious with our travel agent. The flights are not refundable and it would cost us 5,400 to get home without going through Europe. Ahhhhh!

We finally called Almaz, the orphanage director, who asked why we didn't call sooner (ummm because we were bleary eyed and had no idea what to do?). She arranged for us to go to the airport with Wes, a driver and translator to ensure we would make it on our flight. She said that it shouldn't be a problem but they are confused and may or may not let us on.

This is the flight that we are now on. Went down to the airport and no one from Lufthansa was there. Our driver Wes to whom we are eternally grateful found the number to the Lufthansa office and spoke with a women who said we wouldn't be able to go without a german visa for Johnny and we wouldn't be able to get one until Monday. Almaz the orphanage director called back and was able to talk her into it but said it was up to the person at the gate. We decided to buy new tickets on Ethiopian airlines so we were sure to get home and just as we were going to pay Wes ran up to tell us they called back and the director of the Lufthansa airlines in ethiopia approved us getting on and would leave a note with the front desk.

So, please pray hard that this works. We leave for the airport at 11pm our time. Legally we should be able to get on the plane. Pray that we receive someone at the ticket counter that will see the directors note and have mercy on us. We are armed with phone numbers to call if we have a problem this time. The problem is our layover in Germany. They say we have to have a visa for Johnny to enter Germany even though we do not leave the airport. They are wrong but it is hard to argue with someone with english as a second language. We are getting there 3 hours early to ensure we get on. As long as we can get our boarding pass in Addis, we should be fine.

We are worn down and discouraged. We are still not feeling well and running on very little sleep. Please play for supernatural strength as we complete this last part of our journey.

On a brighter note, Johnny is doing wonderfully. He seems to have attached to us well and is only crying when hungry or tired. His cough has gotten better after some antibiotics and he is all smiles. He much less of a baby through all of this than I have been :)

We love you all and can't wait to hit sweet American soil.


  1. My heart breaks as I hear about your trouble getting home. I will continue to lift you before our Lord.

  2. I see from the clock it is now 11:10 in Addis Ababa. I am praying as I type that the Lord will put the right folks in the right place. Lord we beseech you on behalf of this tired family. Bring them home without futher blocks please Lord.

  3. I am praying praying praying!

  4. praying praying! i hate this for you! i've heard germany can be a pain, but not italy :( can't wait to see you tomorrow!

  5. Praying for you! So glad to hear your little one is holding up so well under the pressure! :)

  6. AHH! Unreal! Pells...i am praying for you guys. I can not believe all the delays and ups and downs you have had on your journey to little Johnny. I'm praying specifically that your hearts would be guarded and that the enemy would not steal the joy from your hearts. That though this journey has been difficult and crazy (seriously crazy!) and many obstacles have stood in your would continue to give God much glory and praise. And because of your faithfulness + perseverance many would also give praise to Him and learn to love the things that He loves.
    Praying JOY over you in the midst of all that is happening and sending a BIG hug your way!
    Emily V.

  7. Thank God you finally made it. This was a horrible part of the journey! I love you for your perseverance in all of this. What a blessed baby you have to have found you, Mom and Dad.