Well, the journey continues. Or it really begins in earnest. The past two weeks we have been moving from North Texas, helping Kenny move, unpacking, and storing stuff in our storage unit. And, of course, enjoying our four grandchildren here in Florida.
Today, we begin our trek toward Ontario, Canada for the summer. And hope to arrive by Friday. While there has been a good deal of planning into the next several months of our journey, I haven’t come up with a really succinct explanation of what we are doing.
The other day at a hotel breakfast bar, a friendly lady struck up a conversation with us and asked, “Are you on vacation?”
There was a long pause as I thought of how to answer that question to a total stranger. Thinking maybe we were uncomfortable with the answer, she waved her hand and said, “That’s ok.”
“No,” I replied, “I’m just thinking of how to explain this.” And so I tried.
But I can tell several of our friends and brethren around the country are also trying to figure this out as well.
About 3-4 years ago we began planning to step back from full time, located ministry when I turned 70 and travel with the hope we could have some ministry opportunities along the way. We first announced this when I posted, “Beginning A New Chapter in our Lives” and later followed with “Don’t Use of the ‘R’” Word–At least not yet.”
We are spending two months in Canada with the church at Wellandport as our home base. I begin a meeting there June 17-21. That will be followed by a meeting in Sudbury, June 24-47. And then a July a meeting in Jordan. In addition, we will be teaching an adult Bible class during the Wellandport VBS. Teaching an Evidences class on Sunday evenings and a Men’s Leadership class during the week. Also, we have a quick trip to Indiana to speak on a lectureship. There may be some other opportunities as well.
Following this Norma Jean are celebrating our 50th wedding anniversary with a trip to Europe and look forward to being with brethren in both Athens and Rome.
When we return we have Gospel Meetings scheduled in Iowa, Alabama, and Ohio. In November we will return to the Tampa Bay area for a month. And then spend December in Homosassa. Plans are being formulated for our 2019 schedule.
So, what am I? A semi-retired itinerant evangelist? The traveling Preacherman? A circuit Riding Minister. I’m thinking of the slogan “Have Bible. Will travel.”
Regardless, we’re on a journey.
I’m reminded of the admonition of the apostle Peter in writing to scattered Christians “Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul” (1 Pet. 4:11). The words “sojourners” and “pilgrims” were common Greek words to describe someone who is a temporary resident, whose home is somewhere else.
Luke in Acts 7:6 and the Hebrew writer (11:9,13) uses these words to describe the wanderings of the ancient Patriarchs, especially Abraham. Now, I’m not trying to compare ourselves to these heroes of faith, since
our mode of travel is faster, our accommodation more comfortable, and our immediate destination clearer.
But in a very real sense, we are all on a journey. This world is NOT our home. Our possessions are temporal. Our early existence is transitory. And our lives here are temporary.
We’re all on a journey. Whether we’ve lived in the same place for 40 years or moved all around the world. Our citizenship is spiritual. Our true home is heaven. (Phil. 3:20).
Our journey continues. And so does yours.
Ken Weliever, The Preacherman