It was an interesting flight home from South Africa on Ethiopian Airlines. Because their movie selection wasn’t the greatest I found myself on my iPad most of the way home with the interactive map playing on my TV screen. It was amazing how often I looked up and saw our plane flying over some place where I’ve been or where I have connections with people. The map was my ever-present call to celebration of relationships I treasure, and prayer for their ongoing journey.
My route took me north from Johannesburg to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, where I changed planes to fly up over Europe landing briefly in Dublin before carrying on overseas and final touchdown in Los Angeles. As I flew over South Africa I prayed for those I had met during my stay and prayed that the conversations we had would bear fruit in their lives with joy and freedom. Then it was over Kitale, where we have helped build an orphanage and support a school. Soon after we were over Pokot where many of you have invested so much resource to help 120,000 people build a sustainable economy after their nomadic ways were devastated by a prolonged drought and where the Gospel is reaching many of those with newfound joy.
Then I was in Ethiopia briefly and I have two good friends with very deep connections there. After take off we flew across the Mediterranean where my family had had such a wonderful celebration of our 40th wedding anniversary a couple of years ago. My family brings me such incredible joy and wonder! And yes, Israel was just off to the right where I have led two tours in the last three years with people from all over the world as we found our way to being a family while we discovered the Holy Land. One of the great joys of this journey I’m on is that I get to meet some of the most incredible people in the world. People learning to live loved are engaging, warm, and lovely. They are easy to communicate with, to laugh and to cry with. Those I meet caught up in world ambition or religious obligation are not nearly so. These relationships make me a rich man indeed and always help affirm the path I’m on.
Then it was across Europe with France on the left, which I may visit this fall and Switzerland on the right where we have some close personal friends. We arched over the UK and landed in Ireland where I get to celebrate the Father’s family whenever I land in either of those two island nations. Then it was out over the Atlantic crossing Canada near Winnipeg, where my son’s girlfriend is from, and I had reminders everywhere of people I love that stretch from Prince Edward Island to Vancouver Island.
Finally we crossed into the U.S. and over the town I visited with good friends in Wyoming last year. Each reminder brought a warmth to my heart and a reminder of God’s incredible work in the world to bring people to himself and help them discover the Life that really is life.
I’ll leave you with two things: If you’re interested here is some audio from my Sunday conversation with a roomful of people at “Grace Kitchen”, a community of people risking their traditional congregation to discover what it means to be a family sharing Father’s love together, and a number of others who joined us that day.
And here is an interview I did with a young blogger Muizenberg, where I taught at a YWAM DTS for a week.
It’s been great to be home reconnecting with Sara this weekend and reliving my trip to South Africa and all the people I got to spend some time with. Blessings to you today and all that encompasses your life.