So, sitting here in the Avianca Airlines lounge in Bogota El Dorado Airport, with a 5 hour wait here between landing from Cali and taking off for London, the ‘ministry’ aspect of such a trip as this one has been almost seems a distant memory… there’s fantastic blessing in being on a trip like this – on all my trips, in fact: I’m so grateful that God allows me to do this – but the ‘downside’ is this bit, and then the next bit! 5 hours here, 12 hours in the plane to London, 3-4 hours in Heathrow Airport tomorrow once we land from Bogota, and then the 50 minute flight (but 90 minutes on the plane) to Belfast. The tiredness after a whole day flying and waiting can only be understood and empathised with by people who have done it! (though the far east, Australia, etc., are even worse!).
At least it seems that there are some good films on the flight home, though some are a bit ‘aged’ now (The Bucket List, for instance, though a fantastic film). Sleep and I (and many others, it seems) are not good ‘partners’ on a plane, which makes an 11-12 hour flight seem endless. Please Lord, some sleep tonight, after a good film would be wonderful.
Truth is, though, there’s no way a trip like it really DOES seem a distant memory. Paul, Brian, and I have been sitting here talking about other fantastic testimonies that have come back to our minds, and it’s just so amazing what God has done, not just with us, and in us, but through us: even more to have heard people in churches from Pastors to teenagers saying that it has equipped THEM to step out in faith… one more of my ‘dreams’ is that countless people would say, ‘Well, if HE can do it, I can do it’ – which, of course they – and you – and everybody else, can…
A testimony tonight from a very long time friend who lives in the south of France, saying that reading my blogs has inspired him, and today he talked to his doctor about some of the stories – a doctor who is searching for ‘God’ but embroiled in a homosexual lifestyle. Tony said he listened with great interest, but, being a doctor, wanted proof… but, the door is ajar, and that conversation will continue…
Who knows who else? Four years ago, the lovely Chris Spark came here with me, probably thinking it was a ‘one-off’ trip. Many miracles later, he came the next year. Many more miracles later, he came last year. And, guess what? He was here this year – saying it was the best so far… Paul is already talking about coming back, Brian IS back for the second time, bot will come again, I’m pretty sure of that. I remember hearing my early ‘real christian’ life mentor, Clive Calver, say: ‘If you want to get involved in what God is doing, find out where he’s doing it, then go there, and get on with it’.
That’s been my ‘ethos’ for years. This IS a special country: Cali IS a very special city. Maybe it’s something to do with 50+ years of civil war, 50+ years of being derided by most nations for the cartels, the cocaine, the murders, the violence: because of that, God chooses to bless some of the loveliest people on the earth, at least in my experience of different peoples and cultures.
And the BEST IS STILL YET TO COME…..