We're back from Germany and Ukraine! It was a long road but after five flights and a train journey we made it through ten time zones to our own bed by 3 AM. The last flight was grounded due to a violent storm. We were so exhausted we were not sure what country we were in when we woke at home. Then during the day we have those "jet lag crashes" at times. It makes you appreciate missionaries and others who travel long distances for the sake of the Gospel. They have their ways of minimizing it though. One we met actually crosses the Atlantic by ship now instead of plane. It takes six days but softens the jet lag. Think I'll try it some time.
What about Abraham moving his family around the fertile crescent to find the land God promised him? He went from modern day Kuwait to Israel. Or have you thought of Joseph and Mary or Jesus walking from Galilee to Jerusalem or Bethlehem? There were no hotels on the way. After the resurrection the apostles went to all points of the compass to preach Christ. The apostle Paul took three very long missionary journeys and almost died a few times while traveling. Martin Luther is said to have walked 800 miles to Rome to try to find a way to be at peace with God. John Calvin traveled from France to Geneva and other places.
With the modern missionary movement of the last century they traveled great distances by sailing ships. Some never returned. When they did take a furlough it was after decades at times. One spent forty years on the field before his first furlough. May we be encouraged to risk more for Christ in our day of easy travel.
We truly live in a unique time in history when travel is so easy even with jet lag. We complain about the economy seats. We do have melatonin. Chris, Ruth, Nancy and I, over the last two weeks, have walked were Luther walked, stood in his pulpit, gazed at his house and kneeled beside his grave and saw the president of Germany in person. We have eaten wiener snitzel in Berlin a few feet from the Brandenburg Gate and stood atop the bunker that became Adolph Hitler's suicide grave. We spent time with the Gustafsons, met with pastors and walked the streets of Kiev where the heavenly hundred died. We sailed the Black Sea and worshiped with believers at Caleb's church and encountered cattle rush hour in the remote village of Makarovo. We toured an abandon Soviet military base and told the Sgt. De Roo story to young Ukrainian soldiers there on their way to the front lines.
We also touched down in Ireland and enjoyed some Irish potatoes and fish on our way home. But we're home now and will be reporting on this unique mission trip. Chris and I with our wives will have more to say this Sunday and in the weeks to come. Thanks for praying.
Writing from my study (At least that is where I think I am this morning??),