Road Tested

Most of the road was an air-road, pointing East and South. Early Sunday morning we arrived at the airport in Portland and began our long journey to Rwanda. My colleague, Debi Miller and I arrived safely in Kigali Monday night, somewhat tired and road weary. Never-the-less, we arrived at the end of our long journey, that moved us eastward through ten time zones and southward some 47 degrees of latitude.

I am prompted this morning, as I sit in the living room of the Go Ed house in Kigali by this brief passage from Psalm Chapter 18 (The Message Version):

What a God! His road
stretches straight and smooth.
Every God-direction is road-tested.
Everyone who runs toward him
Makes it.

My daughter, Livvy asked me several days ago if I liked going to Africa.  My response to her was, “I love being in Africa, the getting there, not so much”.  However, the getting here is so much better than it was in previous generations.  I think about Lois and Earl Aherns, our children’s adopted grandparents, who served as missionaries in West Africa for many years.  Lois told us the story of the ‘getting there’ in the 1940s.  You said goodbye to your family and friends, you got on a ship, you sailed for many days and you arrived on a new continent, committed to a lifetime of service in a new place, with only occasional communication with your people back home.

Both the modes of transportation and communication we employ today makes the nature of a trip to Africa profoundly different than it was in the past.  While I endure a day or so of moderate inconvenience, contemporary air travel reduces the time and the heightens the safety and comfort for intercontinental travelers to the point that coming to Africa becomes a possibility much easier imagined than in the generation of the Aherns family. Likewise, our communications media allow me practically instantaneous exchanges between family, friends and colleagues back home in Oregon.

I am grateful this morning.  I am grateful for the purpose that brings me to Africa once again.  I am grateful for the friends who host me here.  I am grateful to my family for allowing me to travel, and I am grateful to God’s road, stretching straight and smooth.

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