We just concluded a long planned mission trip that was years in the making. Our daughter Jessica has had a desire for more than a decade to go to Africa and explore the possibility of medical mission work which has long been her pursuit. The planets all lined up, the window opened, and now we can look at a successful trip in the rear view mirror.
But…………ALL ministry that God is in, comes with a price. Jessica’s busy schedule would have made us throw in the towel and wait for a year or two, if we were not convinced that the Lord was in it. Our respective churches prayed, our family and friends prayed, and our hosts in Africa prayed. After several trying weeks, her schedule suddenly opened up and gave the 10 days we needed for this spiritual journey.
On our way to Ft. Myers Airport (RSW), our vehicle stalled out about 12-14 times on I-75 between exits 179 and 170. By the grace of God, our son Paul was able to switch cars with us at King’s Highway and get us to the airport. Also helping tremendously was the delay of our flight out of Ft. Myers and our connecting flight out of Chicago! God knows what He is doing even when we do not know.
When I travel on such trips, I do not sleep well, sound or long, but survive on cat naps and adrenaline rushes. I pay a tremendous price in fatigue and wearing down my immune system. We had a wall to wall week with speaking engagements, one on one contacts and attending various sites, events and functions. I was scheduled to speak four times and ended up speaking eight times. I was asked to speak again one night after delivering a full length sermon. I had nothing in my tank and told that to Jessica (I told her so she would pray). When I got up to speak I had another 45 minute message. This happened day after day as God equipped us to do what He called us to do. Our final night of worship was Sunday night when I spoke two more times. We went back to our hotel and I packed my luggage mechanically. I was so tired that I could not rest…….wiped out spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally. The antimalaria antibiotic doxycycline is grinding on my inards. It is only when I got home for several days that I could relax and sleep well. This was truly a mission that the Lord sent us on, and a great bonding agent for father and daughter. I would not trade it for all the tea in China. The headaches are small potatoes, and the end result is more than worth the sacrifice. This is something that I no longer consider as a good thing to do because we did it. I do NOT want to be an ole codger one day who is filled with regrets and always saying: “Coulda, woulda, shoulda!” Is God telling you to do something? Nike has good advice: “Just do it!”
Because of Him, Pastor Steve