Three months have passed since we left Germany.
Never before have I been traveling for such a long time. Of course never together with my wife and our children. Never before have I seen so many different and exciting places.
Although this trip has been quite exhausting for us as a young family at times, it´s been such a great experience. Being on so many different planes, riding so many different cars and staying at so many different accommodations has been worth it.
Let me tell you what we take home with us …
1) A broader understanding of the kingdom
We got to visit ten different churches in three different countries, attended two conferences and an album recording. In addition we were able to have countless conversations with pastors, leaders and volunteers.
All the stories we heard and insights we gained let us marvel about what God is doing on a global scale.
However, we experienced personally that there are more people that God is using like ever before.
As I went for a walk at the beach a young man came up and spoke to me. It happened that he was on a missions trip. After talking for a while I asked him and his team to pray for me. A real encouragement for me.
2) A bigger admiration for creation
I´ve always been convinced that the world is too beautiful not to get to see it. Nevertheless, what we´ve seen has taken my breath away. Again and again.
To see plant life and wildlife at amazing places has increased our thankfulness. Thankfulness for the creativity and generosity of our creator.
We live in a wonderful world. His intensions are good.
3) New connections and relationships
I always knew that we were a part of a global family. However, meeting this family and getting to know them at all these places is something completely different.
A few of the friends that we met we already had. Others are brand new. Some of them will probably last for a lifetime.
Meeting all these people and getting to know them is something I don´t want to miss. Just for this reason our little getaway was worth the effort.
4) Many family memories
Even though our kids may be too small to remember later on, these months have been such a special time for us as a family.
Exploring zoos, enjoying boat trips, eating ice cream, going to the beach, eating ice cream, doing rock climbing, eating ice cream, eating fish ´n chips, … eating ice cream.
We´ve enjoyed ourselves so much. That is not going to happen again for a looong time. Like this it might not happen ever again.
5) A stronger marriage
Even though we´ve enjoyed many good things, it´s been the times of stress and strain that have changed our relationship.
A misunderstanding after a 24-hour flight when the nerves are on edge anyway. Not being able to sleep because the kids are coughing in the campervan till half past twelve in the morning. Things like this can divide or unite you.
Esther and I haven´t done everything right. But we´ve moved closer together. Our marriage has never been so good. Thank you God, for your grace!
What kind of experiences have you made with long travels? What´s holding you back from taking a time out with your spouse and kids?