MORE MIRACLES DROPPING FROM HEAVEN! Chidon 5784  (continued)

In our last installment​ of “Miracles Dropping from Heaven,” we ended up with the miracle of my being in the last seat, next to the youngest child and right in front of the galley. If you did not read the first article (HERE), I mentioned that the flight attendant gave me a heads up that she could not provide the snack and drink service due to intense turbulence and gave me a huge service-size bag of little packets of almonds for the girls. Without her generosity Anthony’s drink gift, the girls would have been without food or drink from 3:00 a.m.-8:30 a.m.

Once on land, our journey continued more smoothly, thanks to the arrangements made by our local coordinator, Mrs. Yehudis Lorber. However, our tranquility was momentarily disrupted when one of the girls fell ill during our bus ride. Acting swiftly, I remembered that Alissa, the flight attendant gave me the bag of almonds in a big plastic service bag. I dumped the packets of almonds all over my seat and backpack, and quickly gave the girl the bag. Timing could not have been more fortuitous. No sooner than I gave her the bag, she threw up. The bag helped us a bit. I apologized to Michael; He gave me a roll of paper towels, and we tried to clean up what we could. After the ride. We met up with our local counselor, Sheindel, and I told her to take the girls into 770 for their prayers, snack and rally. I then took the girl to get cleaned up. Though the incident left our surroundings a bit disheveled, the girl recovered quickly, demonstrating remarkable resilience.

I called Sheindel to find out where the group was, amongst the sea of hundreds and hundreds of little girls. (See picture below) Sheindel asked me if I could get lunch boxes. By the time I came back, the girl who had just been sick, was eating a Danish! At that point, it was clear that all was well with her. More miraculously, this was the girl who would later go up on stage to receive a winning trophy! Knowing this, she was totally poised and unfazed. I as well as many adults could learn a lesson from her about pulling it together and moving on!

I bade the girls goodbye and told them I’d meet them later at the “American Dream Mall” later that evening. I went on my own with no other agenda than meeting a friend for brunch, and then visiting a friend. Both of these had mini miracles intertwined with them as well, but that was a mere sideshow to the Chidon.

Leaving Crown Heights Brooklyn at 5 o’clock, I thought I would arrive at the American Dream Mall by 630 or so which I did. Since I knew that the small was so massively large, and that the girls were on such a tight schedule, I wanted to make sure we knew where we were at as soon as I met up with them.

I scouted out the location for our Uber pick-up point at the airport before reuniting with Sheindel and our group. Thankfully, my search was successful, and I found myself in a lounge near the DreamWorks Waterpark, where the girls were enjoying their final activity.

However, as we made our way, I received news that boarding passes couldn’t be generated online due to the absence of luggage, necessitating an in-person process at the airport. This revelation meant we required an additional 20 minutes to ensure each of the 10 girls had their boarding pass. With our departure time from the mall set for 8:00, time was of the essence.

Yehudis was arranging our rideshare, and I informed her of our proximity to the pick-up location, urging her to organize the Uber as soon as we left the waterpark.

Unfortunately, when Sheindel and the girls attempted to meet me in the waterpark lobby, they couldn’t locate me amidst the vast space. After a prolonged search, we finally reunited, but with only 70 minutes remaining to reach the airport, obtain our boarding passes, and reach our gate (as airports typically require arrival at least an hour before departure).

At the American Dream Mall, time became our greatest adversary. Racing against the clock, we navigated the labyrinthine corridors, propelled by a singular goal: to get to the airport on time. Despite the obstacles, we triumphed, thanks to the collective effort of our group and the assistance of kind strangers. (I could not imagine getting stuck in New Jersey at 10:00 p.m. with 10 girls ages 9-13!)

We hurried through the sprawling mall, with Sheindel leading the way and me following closely behind the group. Amidst the rush, the winner of the trophy and her friend struggled to carry the trophy, slowing our progress. Sheindel and I took turns carrying it, arriving at the ride share area just in time. We set off for the airport, now facing the challenge of obtaining our boarding passes, passing through security, and reaching our gate with less than an hour to spare!

Thankfully, the airport was conveniently nearby, and we were met with helpful assistants and no lines. (Who would willingly arrive in Buffalo on a Thursday night at midnight, after all?) With two women assisting us—one behind a desk, the other at a kiosk— and myself managing the rest, we efficiently navigated through the airport. Despite the time crunch, we managed to get the girls through security in no time. More miracles dropping…

To expedite the process further, I reminded the girls to empty any water from their hydration bottles before reaching security. Although not all of them complied, the TSA agent allowed me to go out and empty one of the girls’ hydration bottles.

Blessed with a short delay of 13 minutes, some of the girls were able to take a quick bathroom break to capture a group photo. As we boarded the plane, relieved and ready for the journey home, some of the girls drifted off to sleep, marking the end of our whirlwind adventure.

When we landed, I offered to help an elder gentleman get his carry-on down, he did look Jewish, and I engaged with him with some small talk. One of the very mature girls in the group and followed us. We continued talking through the airport. The man mentioned someone whom we both knew in the Jewish community. She perked up and said that he comes to their home for Shabbos meals! Now, the two of them opened up a conversation which clearly left this man with a beautiful image of our Chidon Girls.

Thanks, Yehudis, Sheindel, Michael, Alissa, Anthony and all the angels who showed us some more miracles dropping from heaven!

We love hearing from you, please feel free to leave your comments below.

With Gratitude,

Rus Devorah

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