“Like cold water to a weary soul, so is good news from a distant land.” (Proverbs 25:25)
A brief review of this whirlwind trip to eight countries in Europe is in order. Karon and I ministered in the Czech Republic for three days and in Romania for two days. We were then joined by Rob Carter and Jack Garner in Moldova for a little over three days and Italy for five days. Karon, Jack and Rob then flew home to Fresno and I moved on to the second half of my trip—to Poland for a day, Hungary for just over a day, Bulgaria for three days, and finally the Ukraine for almost four days. This means 24 days—8 countries—11 cities—16 take-offs and, thankfully, the same number of landings! I spoke in countless churches and meeting halls, mostly on the subject of moral purity and accountability. I met with many precious pastors and ministry leaders whose warm welcome and teachable hearts have left deep imprints on my heart. Europe is in good hands with highly capable and dedicated spiritual leaders. It was an honor to encourage them to “keep on keeping on.”
In every country I would tease and say, “This is my favorite country—with the most beautiful cities, the best food, the prettiest language and the greatest people.” I was then quick to add, “Of course, I say the same thing in every country I visit.” In most places this would get a good laugh.
I would then remind them that heaven is my favorite country, the Word of God is my favorite food and the people of God are my favorite people. And, of course, my favorite word is the same in every language—Alleluia
Just one more day and then I head for yet another city—my favorite city with my favorite people. It’s called HOME! Okay, technically-speaking, it’s called Fresno, a California city used to being teased. Admittedly, I am guilty of getting a laugh or two at the expense of my fair city:
“Fresno: It’s not the end of the world, but you can see it from there.”
“Fresno: It’s so hot, it makes preaching about Hell a lot easier.”
However, after three weeks, no matter what the weather, it will never look or feel so good. It’s beauty doesn’t come from its location near Yosemite nor its rows of abundant agriculture. Its attraction is simple yet profound. It is HOME—the place where my sweet wife and a pile of kids and grandkids live. No place on earth so quickly refreshes my weary soul and rejuvenates my tired body. Perhaps, after 24 days in 10 different beds, I may even allow the cat to try to snuggle with me. Not likely!