No joking matter, but worth every bit of weariness to have experienced the past two months. My heart is full to overflowing with gratitude!
If I were a mathematical sort, I would calculate the number of miles I've traveled in just under sixty days:
- Florida to Israel!
- Florida to NC!
- Florida to Spain!
Now I know why I kept praying "Lord, increase my capacity to absorb all I'm experiencing!" I needed Divine assistance!
Israel was truly the dream trip of a lifetime! And the fact that our church family blessed us with such an adventure......well, that journey just can't be equaled!
Frank and I talk about it with a sense of awe and extreme gratitude. We're still sorting through pictures and experiences and emails from our fellow travelers.
The next two trips were mainly ministry. While in NC, I preached three times in 24 hours. Spain became a new record for me - I preached, taught or coached more than 12 times in 8 days.
The last night we were in Barcelona, they sent Molly, Kristin and I to three different community groups scattered around the area. Kristin with the young ladies group. Molly with a home Bible study. I met with the couples group. We had already met with the church leadership team in the morning and the women leaders for lunch.
By the time we cleared airport security early Thursday morning, we could say with confidence that we had truly left it ALL on the field!
But oh, the adventures of these weeks! The sights! The new friends!
We discovered a long lost "daughter" in Israel. As well as a "son" who gave Frank a farewell hug of epic proportions.
We found a "brother," "sister" and "nephew" in Spain. The Dowson family (who hosted our team) instantly became lifetime friends! By the middle of our first meal, we all knew the Lord had brought us together for the blessing of a rich connection! So much laughter! So many genuine hugs!
Then there was time with the beautiful young couple pastoring International Church of Barcelona. We had a "family" connection with them during their itineration three years ago. John and Brandi Carrano are amazing trail-blazers!
(You should check out the website for their awesome church: icbspain.org Your heart will experience joy and challenge all at the same time.)
So many stories to share with you in the coming days. I'm trying to sort them now. But it felt important to share this thought.
My recent travels have convinced me of a few things:
- God is still very much at work all over the world!
- If we look, we will find Him!
- Heart connections are powerful!
- Everyone has something to share with someone!
- Dreams do come about!
- Miracles are happening all around us - just look!