I am on my way to Africa! Currently, I’m in NYC waiting for my first international flight. Our group will fly to Amsterdam and then on to Nairobi, Kenya. I have been up since 2:40 am and I’ll be honest, it is starting to catch up with me. It will 30 hours of travel time to get there. Typing that makes me even more tired (especially since the bulk of the trip is before us!) Yet, the fact that I can leave my house in Oklahoma City and be in Nairobi in a little more than a day – is an amazing testimony to the development of transportation.
My mind has been on the Apostle Paul (After I return from Africa I’ll be leading a group from St. Luke’s to Greece and Turkey to follow the ministry of Paul). Paul traveled from Israel to Greece, Italy, and everywhere in between – multiple times. He had the blessing of traveling on ships on some occasions. But the transportation of his day left a lot to be desired. Walking everywhere was hard, slow work and left him vulnerable to being robbed and or attacked. Traveling by ship led to him being shipwrecked for three months after his ship almost went down in the storm! When Paul left on a missionary journey it was with no guarantee that he would return. He would be beaten, tortured, and imprisoned on several occasions. He and his companions traveled without cellphones, computers, vaccines, Quiktrip stops, etc. He put his life in danger every time he traveled, but he did it that people would come to know the grace and mercy of Christ.
I am traveling with all of the things that Paul never had (including air conditioning and getting to fly on my trip to the other side of the world.) Barring an unlikely accident, my life isn’t in danger and I imagine I will be the one who benefits from this journey.
Sometimes when I start to complain about an inconvenience, practicing gratitude helps me to put things into perspective. I am so thankful that I get to be on this trip and I’m blessed with my travel companions from St. Luke’s. I’m excited to think of the opportunities to connect with people in Kenya. As I’m sitting here I am giving thanks for the people from St. Luke’s that will be making this trip one year from now.
Suddenly, 30 hours doesn’t seem so bad.
Bwana Yesu Asifiwe!