OK, I know what you're thinking. "Oh my word!!! She's actually posted something for the first time in FOREVER!!!" (You know who you are.) You're right, it has been forever. Ever wonder where all your time went? Maybe down that invisible black hole where all the socks go? When you figure it out, let me know, k?
So, I had posted that I was going to talk about all my trips and make it "Around the World in 80 posts" thing. No, that hasn't changed. I'll still be doing that. But first, I wanted to start with a foundation of sorts. A 'why I do this' foundation.
I received some great news tonight. To make a REALLY long story short, months worth of story, I thought all doors had closed on the ONE trip I wanted to take this year. I was so upset when I found out that I couldn't go because the dates at work were already claimed. I cried. The wonderful person that does the planning for her mom, who I would be going with, tried everything to no avail. I had resigned myself that I wasn't supposed to go and there was something else for me.
Alas, when I went to talk to my pastor to ask her where else she is going this year, she told me the dates for the trip I wanted to go on had changed and check to see if I could get those dates off. I figured it would take a miracle to be able to go. And you know what? A miracle happened. With only 2 1/2 months to prepare, I will be going to Bhutan in April. (I'm not excited at all - said with rolling of eyes.)
So, now that is said, why do I go? Why do I want to go to a foreign country to talk to people I've never met? To places that it's not legal to be a Christian? Places where they have to go to a secret meeting under the cover of night just to fellowship with others that have given their lives to Jesus? Short answer? I'm crazy.
Long answer? If you read back on some of my other posts, you will see a pretty clear theme. Jesus is the only way. He was very clear on that. John 14:6 "Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me." There is no other way.
There is A LOT of stuff out there today. You have the old religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Muslim. You have new weird stuff, Scientology, Oprah religion, new age. A couple of people that sit around me at work were talking about meditation and yoga.
Back to the question at hand. Why do I do it? It's not a question that I can answer quickly or lightly. First, I do it because of Jesus. He told us to. Matthew 28:18-20 "Jesus came and told his disciples, 'I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.'”
Jesus gave His life for me, you, for the people around the world. He didn't do that lightly. He prayed that His Father would pass the cup from him. He also told His Father not his (Jesus') will, but the Father's be done.
I don't travel the world lightly. Sure, its fun to go to different countries, see new lands, take pictures. All the touristy stuff. But it's the people. There has not been one country that I have not fallen in love with the people to some degree. Some more than others. One thing remains the same in every country. The people have no hope. They are all searching for something that their gods, their idols, cannot give them. Love, hope, joy, satisfaction. I know someone, however, that can give them all that. Why keep it to myself?
It hasn't been easy. I'm human. I've had crappy trips. It's hard to be away from home, away from family. It requires sacrifice. It requires vigilance. As we press ahead in this time, the end days, it's not a time to be passive.
Why do I do it? Because it's time to break the silence.
The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is upon me, for the Lord has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to comfort the brokenhearted and to proclaim that captives will be released and prisoners will be freed. He has sent me to tell those who mourn that the time of the Lord’s favor has come, and with it, the day of God’s anger against their enemies. To all who mourn in Israel, he will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the Lord has planted for his own glory.