“The first day of vacation had finally arrived! But we woke up late. As we rushed to make up lost time, organized packing degenerated into frantically throwing items into the suitcase. Online-check was forgotten, and we had no idea that our flight time was moved earlier. After scrambling to the airport, we had to pay an extra $100 fee for our disorganized, overweight bags. (If we only could have known that security would confiscate many items anyway, we could have avoided that charge.) When we finally sprinted onto the plane just before the doors shut, the baby had a blow out and proceeded to vocally express her discomfort for the remainder of the flight. Landing brought no relief as our luggage refused to sit obediently on the cart. At last, we sank into the seats of our rental car, rebellious luggage in tow, only to turn onto the highway and get stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic.”
Sound familiar? How often have you heard a story like this? So many things can go “wrong” when one is traveling. Although this story could have been much worse, it is not exactly a story of sunshine and rainbows! I did not realize how difficult traveling is until I heard someone worrying about their next trip. It struck me that it is not necessarily normal to travel every week! Yet this is my life now.
While it is true that our sovereign God can use any circumstance to humble us and draw us to Himself, traveling definitely seems very suitable for these types of lessons. The amount of variables and last minute decisions involved in deputation and traveling are often overwhelming. I frequently forget items and details even with a task list.
It is particularly difficult for a baby to travel. Deputation does not lend itself to a consistent schedule especially when I struggled to figure out which time zone we are in! It’s hard to visit a new church and a new nursery every week (if there is a nursery at all). To make things more challenging, our baby usually screams for long periods of time at each new nursery worker who is just trying to do her best. In addition, sometimes there are baby equipment malfunctions. One time I was already late and hurrying across the church parking lot when the stroller folded three times with the baby inside. She survived, but I thought I was going to lose my sanctification.
What has all this travel taught me? Life is all about balance and perspective.So how do I major on the majors and minor on the minors? When do I let things go and when do I put my foot down? When do I laugh at all the craziness and when should I be serious? This is what I struggle with as a missionary, and the following are five truths I must continually speak to myself while traveling:
- This time of travel is only for a season. Hopefully, we will not be on deputation living in an RV for the rest of our lives. Our baby will not always be a baby; she will outgrow things like diapers. Ecclesiastes 3:1- “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven…”
- God uses people in spite of themselves. The stories of Eve, Rahab, Esther, and Ruth assure me that God uses flawed people—real people who did not have it all together. Each was just as much a sinner as I, and yet God used them.
- We are doing this because of people; people have souls and are precious. I have to remember why we are going through these challenges. Whether we are traveling in America or finally serving in Africa, the people around us need Jesus.
- All of my struggles would be covered if I just walked in the Spirit.Ephesians 5:18-19: “And do not get drunk with wine, for that is dissipation, but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord;” My Pastor reminded me that not walking in the Spirit is just as sinful as being drunk.
- Jesus is what is most important. I have read this passage in Luke so many times, but every single time it is convicting. Luke 10:38-42: “Now as they were traveling along, He entered a village; and a woman named Martha welcomed Him into her home. She had a sister called Mary, who was seated at the Lord’s feet, listening to His word. But Martha was distracted with all her preparations; and she came up to Him and said, “Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to do all the serving alone? Then tell her to help me.” But the Lord answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and bothered about so many things; but only one thing is necessary, for Mary has chosen the good part, which shall not be taken away from her.” I need to do a little less and spend a little more time at the feet of Jesus.
While it would be helpful for someone to write a book on tips and tricks for traveling every single weekend and doing deputation with a baby in tow (I would be the first buyer!), one thing I know I must do is major on biblical truth. The truth is what keeps me going through each successive trip.
Update on the Road
God’s grace has been amazing. His grace has brought us here and will lead us home to Kenya. We are making progress in the area of support. We have also begun raising our passage funds. Look at our progress below. The KBM website has been undergoing new development to include nine training videos and nine articles on Gospel Safari. A new page called “Gospel Safari” will have all these and more resources for those interested in going on a Gospel Safari. On the home front, Maylee has begun walking. Lexie has gotten answers on health, and we are working with medical professionals to find a treatment plan. Thank you for all your prayers!