First United Methodist Church

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News & Devotions

Naivasha, Kenya – Post #1: (Rev. David Miller)

So we are off!  We gathered at the airport at 11 this morning.  Boarding a 777, we flew 14 long hours to Dubai.  Allow me summarize the flight in two words.  Screaming.  Baby.  Right.  Behind.  Me.  Okay – that’s five words.  Did I mention 14 hours of flight time?  Not that I find it easy to sleep on airplanes in the first place.  I can never get comfortable.  Just about the time I doze off someone kicks the back of the seat.  I’m glad I don’t do this kind of traveling every day.

In a few minutes, we will board our second jetliner.  This one for Nairobi.  It’s a much shorter trip.  Only 5 hours.  For some reason my teammates don’t take a lot of comfort in that.  Fortunately, we have been able to pit stop.  Even grabbed a $30 hamburger at Shake Shack in terminal A!  We should be in at our hotel around 10 – just over 24 hours after we left Orlando.  Tomorrow we will board a van and head 2 hours up to Naivasha where we will begin the first part of our mission work.

As I have been traveling thinking about Paul’s missionary journeys.  In particular, I was reading about his mission trip in Acts chapters 13 and 14.  On that trip, Paul traveled 1500 miles.  He had to take a ship three different times.  It took him 54 days.  Some scholars estimate it cost him almost a year’s worth of paychecks.  Not only that, along the way he was stoned nearly to death, expelled, and criticized.  He went a long way and suffered much to bring the love and hope of Christ to others.

In comparison, I easily fall into the trap of thinking it’s a big deal to ride an airplane for more than 5 hours.  Or that it’s sacrificial to eat a $30 hamburger from a restaurant with a menu written in a different language.  Or to spend the night in a strange hotel that is lacking some of the amenities that I am used to.  I must admit I am ashamed as I write these words.  This trip is already begging the question:  How far would I be willing to go to share the love and hope of Christ with others?

The question doesn’t just apply to miles.  It concerns my personal comfort, my daily routines and even my sense of security.  Do I really believe that Jesus Christ offers a life that is rich, eternal and abundant?  Have I truly experienced the life changing love of God?  How far would I go to share the love and hope of Christ with others?  What about you?  How far would you go? 

The truth is, I am grateful for the life in Christ that has been given to me.  I want to share it with others.  So I am going to work on going farther than ever before.  How about you?  How about you?

Pastor David