By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
Challenges of new places, experiences
pastor corner

By the time you read this, I will be on my way back home. I wrote it before I left.

Where was I going? I was on my way to Haiti. A group of three from my church planned to join up with four others to spend a week there.  
I have to admit something to you. I was full of apprehension as I made my preparations to leave. That’s a fancy way of saying I was just a bit scared.  

Please don’t misunderstand: I can honestly say that I was not afraid to die. I am confident, based on what God has done for me, that I am going to live forever, even after my body dies. And I was not afraid of the people I was going to visit. But there always is a bit of discomfort experiencing new things and places.  

I’d never been to Haiti before. I have been on mission trips before. I’ve gone to Russia, Ukraine and Nigeria and preached in each of those places. I’ve also made a trip to Long Island, New York, and served as pastor in Indiana and Michigan. So traveling is not a new thing for me. But I always wonder, when I go to a new place, what it will hold for me. How will I be received? What will I see and do?

Again, as I write, I have yet to leave, but I believe I can say a few things with confidence.  I expect that upon my return home, I will be a bit more grateful for what I have and where I live.  I anticipate I will see material things in a rather different fashion. I hope I will be a bit less prone to whine and complain when I experience a bit of discomfort. I trust I will be more satisfied with life as I know it.

And that is the rub, is it not? Why must I go to an impoverished place to remind myself of the blessings that I have every day? Why do I not see the goodness of God in the basics of life? Why am I not more grateful all the time?

Paul wrote, “Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will for you …” How often do you give thanks? May I encourage you to be more grateful? God has been good. Praise him and give thanks to him.

Sign up for our E-Newsletters