Thursday, March 12, 2020

Why Here and Why Now?

"Why here?" is the easy question to answer. It is no secret that KJo and I have the travel bug bad. We hit the road while we were still teenagers and the open road still calls. Our Pastor, Bro. Bennie Sutherland told me years ago, "Davy, you have asphalt in your blood" and he was probably correct.

I hold these two quotes near all the time.

The world is a book and those that do not travel read only one page.
Augustine of Hippo

Travel makes one modest. You see what a tiny place you occupy in the world.
Gustav Flaubert

Yep, the travel bug has bitten us and there seems to be no cure.

Why Australia? Why New Zealand?  I told you "Why here" is the easy question. Australia and New Zealand are places we have never been and they have called our names for years. There are millions of people here that we have never met. There are cities here that we have never visited. There are delicious dishes here that we have never sampled. There are sights we have never seen. There are sounds we have never heard.

Those are natural reasons and they are important reasons to us. There are spiritual reasons as well. I am called to be an evangelist. I am called to tell the good news of the Gospel to as many people as I can. I never grow tired of that calling, but I do long to share the message with as many people in as many places as I can.

That at least partially covers the "Why here." What about the Why now?

Why travel halfway around the world with an epidemic (Now announced as a pandemic) sweeping the world? That may take a little more explaining.

First, we have dreamed of this trip for years, planned this specific trip for over 18 months and the flights and cruise have been paid for about a year. We could have canceled when coronavirus spread beyond China, but we would have lost all our money.

Keep in mind, the number of cases in the USA have skyrocketed in the 8 days since we left the USA. We knew it could get bad, but it was not this bad when we left home.

The day we arrived in Australia, our cruise company announced they would give 100% credit on canceled cruises beginning the day AFTER our cruise departed. Our cruise was not included. We felt like we had no choice but to proceed and to be as careful as we can be.

That is exactly the course we are taking. We are washing our hands thoroughly and often and we are using alcohol based hand sanitizer like it is going out of style. I do not believe we sparked the frenzied run on hand sanitizer, but we did purchase plenty. We are being very careful about being to close to people in crowds and we are avoiding sick folks like they have the plague, 'cause they might.

We are keeping up with the news and we will cooperate with whatever instructions our government gives to us or any instructions given to us by New Zealand and Australia. Our plans are to preach in Australia for two weeks and then fly home and resume our revival schedule in the USA.

If those plans must be adjusted, we will go with the flow. There is no way we could know any of this a year or two in advance, but we are convinced that none of this surprised God. God knew then, God knows now and God has a plan.

So pray for us, but do not worry about us. We are being very careful and we hope to finish the vacation portion of this trip and then visit several churches and preach to as many people as we can while taking in a few more beautiful views in Australia.

Thursday we set our foot on the ground in New Zealand for the first time and had a wonderful day. We were able to visit an old church in Mosgiel that I have wanted to see for years. It is no longer open as a church, but we were invited to walk around inside and stand on the platform.

I will tell you more about it later. Thank you for reading today.

Update: Hours after I published this post, our cruise line announced they are suspending operations for 60 days. They have not worked out all of the logistics concerning cruises in progress, but they will let us know as soon as they figure it out, I am sure. Until then, we carry on, no worry needed. There has been no sickness reported on board.


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