I thoroughly expected it to be this man when I answered the phone, and I was desperate for news. He had given me hope in the last call, but hope so quickly after my hope had been shattered was difficult to hang on to.
I answered the phone, and said hello, and my husband's voice called my name! He was safe!
If I had been shaking before, I shook worse then. My friend and I sat smiling with tears pouring down our faces. I tried frantically to skype the other wife so she would not have to wait a millisecond more to hear the news. But mostly, I clung to the sound of my husband's voice.
He only talked to me for a minute or two and said he would phone later. They had to move from where they were. I didn't have enough time to ask when is later or where you are going... and he hung up.
My body felt like the air had drained out of it. I could not stop crying. Still thoroughly exhausted to the point that it was hard to get my hands to function on a keyboard, still emotionally drained, but oh, so happy! Immediately, I dialed the other wife. To be able to tell her, "yes, they are safe! I talked to them! No, I did not talk to your husband, but I heard his voice - I had asked specifically if he was there, wanting to hear his voice, not content only to be told... I needed to hear their voices. They will come home!"
Like me, she was in shock, believing and unable to believe - needing to hear herself. I understood that, and hoped they would phone her immediately, too. We both hung up to phone our children.
Then we sat, my friend and I , and cried. We cried and cried. It was hard to believe. It had been impossible, and it had just happened.
She left to get me a cup of tea - more sweet, milky tea to keep me going, and I made the first of many calls. My hands shook so badly that it was hard to dial the numbers. The first was to my kids. I so wanted to run over and tell them myself... but... there were so many that needed to know, and doing that would take half an hour. So I phoned in to the school, and asked a dear friend of mine there to gather them immediately and tell them all together.
The second, I had promised, was to my husband's family. They are not believers, so it was something to be able to tell them that the impossible had happened. They could not believe it. There was no way that what had happened just did, but it had, and I got to tell them that God did it. Then began the calls - working both on the phone and on skype fielding several conversations at once. What joy, what tears of pure joy, that day!
Halfway through the calls and the celebrations, I paused for a minute, looked at my friend who had sat through the heart-crushing disappointment and the unbelievable joy with me, and laughed. I said, "God said to ask for tomorrow morning. I just assumed it was the time zone for "over there". He meant our time zone! It is still morning!"
Next time, I've got to remember to ask God which time zone He's operating in!
After two hours of celebrating with those all over the world who heard the news, I skyped the other wife to watch for me and wake me if there is more news. My friend took the phones and headed downstairs. Once more, I curled up in bed in tears to try to sleep. Only these were happy tears.