Well after migrating North to Boston yesterday and then heading Eastward to London overnight, I’ve made my way safely into Oxford, England where I begin my international travels. Currently, it’s slightly colder than the South and is MUCH colder than Tanzania will be but nonetheless, I’m excited to be here.

As I flew through the night sky over the Atlantic the tingling sensation of travel flowed through my veins once again. Stepping out into the unknown, filled with hopes and dreams and aspirations…there are few greater feelings for me. Once your bags are packed and you step on that plane, there’s not much else you can do but smile, press forward and make the best out of every situation trusting in God. But we’ve all felt that feeling, right? Uncertain of what will happen next… worried that tomorrow might not happen as we expect. It’s precisely in those moments that I remind myself and now I remind you that God promises to be with us even if things don’t go as planned or make a turn for the worse. And we’ve also been blessed with friends and family and the Church to encourage and support through times such as these.

But it’s a two way street!

One of the most challenging things for me is to ask for help or support when I need it and I bet it’s not too easy for some of you either. I think we owe it to our friends and family and even our church to be honest with them and share with them when life is rough so they can do their faithful part in supporting and caring for you and me. It’s quite comical that everywhere I look I’m seeing messages thrown into my face about self-preservation and how I should be strong enough on my own to climb up life’s ladder all by myself but when you look through the Scriptures and when you look at Jesus’ life, what do you see? Do you see that kind of independence forming the love that God wants in this world and in our lives? When I read the Scriptures I see putting God first and loving God with our heart, soul, mind and strength and then loving our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12:28-31); I see considering the interest of others better than our own (Philippians 2:3-4); I see spurring one another on and encouraging them more and more each day (Hebrews 10:24-25); and I see that two are better than one… and a cord of three strands is not quickly broken (Ecclesiastes 4:9-12). Fellowship and support from one another is a gift we receive AND a responsibility we offer that God has bestowed upon each one of us.

I once saw a quote that said, “Just remember, your job won’t come over and take care of you when you’re sick.” Think about that for a moment…

So as my travels continue onward, may they be a source of encouragement for you to continue serving the living God and may you be a source of encouragement to all those around you, friend or foe. And know that as you step forward into the unknown, you travel with a God that has been there and done that and offers us Immanuel, God with us, with the company of the Holy Spirit. Let us manifest God’s presence on earth with our words, our actions and our love.

Mpaka wakati halafu…