|Map showing all the airports we visited on our travel|
ROGER --- The most difficult thing about the blog is we were unable to share everything we saw and experienced due to the need to remain somewhat anonymous in what we were doing and stand for. We could not risk impacting the ministry of some of those we were visiting. The stories we could share could fill another whole blog but we cannot even put many of them in print now to protect those who have made the ultimate decsion at their own personal risk. Please remember each of those individuals as they work to live for the Lord where that is not welcome.
After almost 2 months of being back home, it is still difficult to say we have adjusted to being home. But than again, maybe this is the new home. The feeling that the world is sooo big and the Lord is sooo at work everywhere. After all, He is everywhere! Why should I expect less? I looked at the spiritual hunger in so many places, the spiritual darkness in so many places, not ignoring the physical needs. Where there was a void of Light, there was hunger. Where there was total darkness, there was fear, despair and a lack of fulfillment. When I got back "home", we saw what appeared to be light in many places but was it a flashlight one could turn on and off, a candle that could be blown out, a flame that goes out when the gas runs out or an eternal light that glows for eternity. And here with so much light available, there is still fear, despair and a lack of fulfillment. So how can I live my life (or let Him live through me) to properly represent His Light?
In so many places, you do not have the choice to blend into the background and a choice had to be made. Here it is way, way tooooo easy to just be me and not reflect HIM. The challenge - distinguish myself by living for HIM in a way that will shine. For an introvert, that is a challenge because first you have to get out. A light stuck in a room has limited impact.
Enough of the figurative. It was life changing and we are so glad to see our friends again. We will always remember the time with those we visited and now know so much better how to pray for them. There were also so many memories. Visiting our high schools brought back many memories and it was special so learn first hand from Jan as she visited her first home after being gone for 35 years. To visit our 1989 - 1993 home and see so many friends that were part of our life during those times made us think hard of moving back there. We had similar thoughts in other locations where needs were expressed and opportunities presented to us. Too many thoughts and emotions to list but it was very special. Yet we have not felt the Lord calling us anywhere other than where we are right now.
I wish I had a dollar for every time we were asked what our favorite country was. There was no favorite. Each place was unique and the easy trap to fall into was which was most like home but still exciting. The better question is what was unique and shows Gods creativity in working in each of people we met. Imagine - identifying this uniqueness and leveraging it for His kingdom. That would be so exciting and when you see that collage/kaleidoscope under the wings of the Almighty – Awesome, I remain speechless. We saw a small snapshot of that in our 6-month journey.
The biggest adjustment coming back - not being with Jan 24/7 most days for a month. Now that we are home, I have my tasks to do and Jan the same. No - we did not get tired of each other at all. I do not remember once thinking I needed time totally alone (she'll have to speak for herself). It was a growing time when we had Ah Ha times we could share as they happened rather than waiting until we were together. How special!
JAN --- So I am writing for the last time on this blog…trying to wrap it up. We are planning on getting it made into a bound book to keep our memories on pages we can pick up and look through when ever we wonder what life is about here and did we really go on a trip around the world for 6 months!
It has been a much more difficult time adjusting to being back than I ever could have imagined. For 6 months we were in people’s lives…people who wanted us to be there…meeting people who wanted us to help and be involved in what they were doing…people who were eager to hear what we would share with them…and listening to their hearts…and hearing story after story of how amazing and great God is… Not to mention the joy of serving with Roger in different ways and being with him…so all that said…the adjustment has been hard in that all of a sudden we don’t have specific tasks…a focus together…just being able to hang out with friends hours on end…yes…its been an adjustment.
And now we are back in America… as a generalization…Americans tend to be quite guarded (when it comes to matters of the heart) compared to people in other countries we visited….But I have been asking the Lord to bring to my attention the ways He works in people here and He has begun to give me glimpses of it and I am excited…excited what He does in my life…in my family and friends and even people I have not met but hear about!
I guess one of my concerns since coming home has been wondering where I fit in to the lives of others…I am so thankful for the friends who welcomed me home and picked up where we left off…but I have changed and want the change to continue…I want to be involved in other’s lives…seeing what God is doing ….and what he has for me…and want to continue sharing Christ with others… I don’t want to become complacent and comfortable in my relationships with others. I want to step out of my comfort zone and share with others more about what gives me hope in each day…what makes my life worth living…
And then I am brought back to the question of what is my purpose…live with purpose…the message I kept hearing in my heart for 6 months….the first few weeks home I kept asking myself “what is my purpose?” One day when I was praying about it I heard a soft voice say…”its not about your purpose…it’s all about MY purpose for you”. I had to smile…so simple the answer…My heart’s cry is to live each day in His purpose for me. It looks different every day…it’s dying to self…living for Christ…humbling myself (oooh so hard)…seeking Him…His purpose…
And so to be honest…life is picking up where I left off…That is what my life was about before I left on the trip… But now I do it even more intentionally because of the many wonderful things I was able to do and see and hear on this trip. Words cannot ever express how blessed I feel for having been able to experience this trip. I wish everyone could do it tho I know there are many of you who would not even want to go and live out of one suitcase and sleep in umpteen beds and fly on hours in planes but it’s the other parts that I wish everyone could taste…the joy of seeing with your own eyes glimpses of how God is at work in so many places and so many ways and in so many different types of people. He is so creative and huge and it expanded my view of God’s work…
I guess I could go on and on…but like I said…no words can really express…..
On another note…I loved being with Roger 24/7 for 6 months. He is working from home now so we are together more than we were a year ago and I love it. But it is different because we have different tasks to do…different schedules… I am not saying some things have not been an adjustment but that is all they were…adjustments. I am so thankful for him and how the trip only strengthened and deepened our relationship…yet another huge blessing! My respect and love grew so much over this last year as I saw his servant’s heart…was loved by him fully even when I am very unlovable…saw how again how he is a man of his word and lives with integrity in every way…I am so thankful for him!
I will just end this by saying ….All glory to God from whom all blessings flow!
|Our blog in one snapshot. Words used by frequency|
The pictures in this blog are an attempt to add some pictures not previously posted. They are in the order of the countries we visited