Thursday, January 27, 2011

I'm Leaving On A Jet Plane

I’m hearing Peter, Paul, Mary and John Denver singing “I’m Leaving on a Jet Plane” so it must be tomorrow that we soar through the sky at mach .8 (587 mph) for Chennai. I’m surprised that, although I’ve been preparing weeks for this journey, I have so much left to do tonight! Of course, I’m on my laptop now when I should be packing. Friends and family have been calling to say goodbye and encourage me with words of support and prayers for our success and safety. Harry and I have made our last arrangements and synchronized our watches, so the next phase of the mission is ready to start… lots of travel.

24 hours and 35 minutes to Chennai India! But who’s counting? Are we there yet dad? Only four of those hours are layover in Dallas and London when we change planes. Actually, I don’t mind long flights and the company I am keeping on this trip is superb. While preparing for the trip Harry referred to me as a “young whipper snapper” and himself an “old codger.” That’s one of the many reasons I love Harry; who else would refer to a man nearly fifty years old as a young whipper snapper!? The other reasons are too many to list and I would just embarrass him anyways, but suffice it to say, he’s “been there and done that” with God’s will always first, everybody else second and himself last. Harry began a “Make a Difference (MAD)” class at church and he lives it first, then he teaches others. I’m sure it is going to be a great trip!

Hopefully, I will be able to update the blog on Sunday after we go to worship in Chennai. Monday we check in with the embassy and get our malaria pills, then we’ll catch a train for another eight or nine hours of travel to F IN A L L Y arrive in Rajahmundry. I have heard nothing but wonderful praise for brother Rao and his family and I look forward to meeting him and especially working with him for the Lord.

Please keep us all, including Debbie and Carolyn, in your prayers and I will post again on Sunday.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Countdown Begins

It's less than 72 hours until we fly out of Nashville International Airport and Harry and I are geared up and ready to go. We'll fly out Friday to Dallas Texas on American Airlines, switch to British Airways to London England, then change flights to Chennai India. From there we will have an 11 hour train and car ride before we can get a little rest. I suspect we'll be too hyped up to rest very long though and will pretty much hit the ground running. In my previous line of work I traveled by air a lot domestically and flying doesn't bother me, however, I haven't flown overseas since I was a young man in the military. These flights are really long. I have plenty to keep me busy on the flight; studying my sermon material, reading books and listening to music. I'm sure Harry will be reminiscing about previous trips to India and his experiences with our brethren there. Harry and I are very much alike when it comes to talking; we could both talk to a tree stump and have a good conversation!

Debbie, my beautiful wife of thirty years, supports the work being done in India and me going, but she is not happy about be being gone for over a month. She once was accustomed to long separations while I was in the military and for the years I spent on the road driving trucks, but I've been home for two years now without any significant time apart. Now-a-days we have ways to keep in touch without running up big phone bills. I've set up Skype accounts so we see and talk to one another via computers. Pretty cool!

Thanks to all who have helped to make this mission trip possible. I will post here more often now that we are about to leave and there is more to talk about! Pray for the work being done in India and for our safe travels.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Journey Begins

This is the first of many posts about the journey I'm taking with Harry Anderson to India from January 28 to March 1. He's been 19 times since 1968 when he first went with his father. The country has changed some since then and I will be interested in hearing from Harry how the country and its people have fared.

A few facts I know already is India is 80% Hindu and only 2% Christian. While 2.346 million is a big number, it is still relatively small considering the 1.171 billion population. The great commission, "Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” (Matthew 28:19-20 ESV), is a great challenge there and many Christians in the U.S. support the ongoing efforts to train local preachers for the work. I look forward to seeing and participating in this work first hand. I'm not much of a writer, but I will do my best to chronicle our adventure.

As of this date, we have secured our tickets, we're waiting for our visa's and planning to ship supplies ahead so they will be on the ground when we arrive. I'm still collecting contributions to pay expenses and give my brethren the opportunity to be part of the mission work. Thanks to Joshua Pappas and Harry for their advise on how to accomplish this part of the work. I have been blessed that many brothers have sought me out to contribute when they heard I was going. The resources will be used wisely to accomplish our mission and secure safe travel.

As the time for departure arrives I will be writing more and experimenting with the blog, learning to post pictures and video. Thanks to all our supporters and for the many prayers already being lifted up for Harry and me.