KJo and I decided a few days ago to return to the states at the conclusion of the vacation portion of our trip and several Sunday events confirmed our decision.
When I speak of Sunday events, it might help to remind you that all of these events were happening during your Saturday back in the states. Wow! I feel like a time traveler.
We had begun to surmise that churches we planned to visit and minister in Australia over the next 17 days, might be hesitant to welcome international visitors under the current escalation of worry over the coronavirus. We can understand why the Pastors and churches might be a bit reluctant to have us.
It would be difficult to meet people and effectively minister to them if they are worried we are passing a potentially deadly virus to them. We decided to go to the USA if possible.
That was confirmed when I was communicating early Sunday morning with the Indian church in Napier, New Zealand we were supposed to attend that morning. I reminded the Pastor we were traveling by cruise ship and I volunteered not to come if any of his people might be concerned. After several back and forth conversations he allowed that he and his wife would be fine, but some of the families with small children might be more concerned.
We totally get that.
Later that day we learned there was a cruise ship passenger on another ship two cities behind us that was being tested for coronavirus and that New Zealand was shutting down the ports. I think we made the proper decision Sunday morning and it validated our earlier decision to skip the churches in Australia and go back to the states.
The second confirmation came Sunday afternoon when Australia announced they were following the lead of New Zealand. They were also preventing cruise ships from porting and requiring incoming travelers to self isolate for 14 days.
We were very thankful we had already begun the process of getting our flights changed so that we can travel back to the states and perhaps self isolate there for 14 days before we begin our scheduled revivals if they are able to commence at that time.
The final corroboration came when the ship captain announced at bedtime Sunday night that Australia had ordered all ships back to Australia immediately. It is Monday morning here and Sunday afternoon in the US as I type this. We are right now cutting between the north and south islands of New Zealand and we have about two days to sail across the Tasman Sea to Sydney.
We do not know what the Australian government will require of us foreigners when we arrive in Sydney and we do not yet have early flights booked to the US. Best case scenario is that everyone stays healthy, we are transferred to the airport from the ship and we are back to the bus in Tennessee by the end of the week.
It may be that we can stay in the bus where it is for two weeks to self isolate when we arrive. We are prepared to do that if possible. We could also move to a church parking lot, bounce between rest areas, truck stops and Walmart or even drive to the barn. None of that is a big deal.
We will cross those bridges when we come to them. We are physically well and we are not fretting. We are ready to roll with the punches and even the waves on the Tasman Sea.
Thank you for praying for us and we appreciate your intercession to God for us. There is no need to panic. We are moving forward with calm and assurance by God's grace.
Thank you for reading. Here is our first post today.