It does not matter how these words will be put together, I am convinced that the Holy Spirit will use our words to feed your soft hearts to encourage, to edify, to equip and to reprimand for His glory.
I thought to share my heart today with you by answering (some of) the questions most frequently asked, apart from: "Where is Namibia?":
Where do you come from, which places have you visited, where will you still go and when will your tour end?
We come from Namibia in Africa, left home on 30 Dec '08 and already built precious memories in London, Paris, Orcierre (France), Switzerland, Germany, Phuket, Singapore, Australia, New Zeeland, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Grand Canyon, Seattle, Vancouver, Alaska and Whitefish (Montana). We plan, amongst others, to visit Toronto, Atlanta, Chicago, New York, Southern France, Italy and Greece. We plan to be home on the 5th of October 2009.
How did you come up with the idea like this?
Difficult to pin point and give 1 reason, but I guess it was birthed because of a family habit of regularly having family meetings. During one of those meetings Tinus challenged us to do a Cape to Cairo trip. In another meeting he shared his heart that he is close to finishing school but did not want to leave our house yet, but, also do not want to waste a valuable year of his life. If there was only one reason why we do this tour , it was to say thank you to Tinus who :"got it right for 18 years in our home". We dreamed ,talked, discussed, prayed and laughed, and over time, the around-the-world-idea unfolded right before us.
What was the highlight of the tour so far?
For Tinus: Sydney (because of the Hillsong church) and the Cruise to Alaska. For Dawie J: The many new places (or watching rugby in Sydney). For Charlie: the isolation in the snow in Switzerland and joining the family after playing rugby back home for two months. For Chrisna: Impossible to say...every place is a highlight, but if she had to say..."the bonus family time". For myself: the slower pace, being more with my family and our Lord Jesus, the visits to the many special churches and their leadership, losing part of my finger and ending in hospital in Phuket, the Alaska cruise and the many times I was hearing God's crystal clear voice.
How could you afford it?
Live a life of simplicity over many years, save according to a plan which has measureable goals, pray, plan, study and work hard, prioritize, budget, assign responsibilities, be accountable, measure progress, be disciplined, be obedient, adjust timely, find cheaper options (live on specials), do home exchanges, do not make mistakes, operate in faith and communicate well (if you need more detail...read my blog dated 20th Jan 09: http://fourieworldtour.blogspot.com/2009/01/our-trips-finances-20-january-2009.html)
What would you have done differently?
Very few things, it was as close to perfect as can be! But maybe to sin less and walk to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and sleep in it for at least one night.
Are you not tired of traveling, foreign food, suitcases and not to have a place of your own? Are you not considering it to go home earlier?
Not at all, we are enjoying every moment. We are continuing with our family meetings. I am putting the above question on the table on a regular basis, and the answer remains the same: no one wants to go home yet!
When we are reading your blog it seems that you are enjoying it so much. Are you considering it not to go back at all?
There are so many beautiful place on earth. We have discussed it several times. We are sure that there are many different places where we will be able to stay and be very happy. Although we are blindly loyal to Namibia, we are, for the first time in our lives, honest enough to acknowledge that there may be other places on earth, which on a scale may "weight better" than our home town/country. However, the decision where to live is driven, in our opinion, by God and his calling for your life. For what the latter is, we will remain in a close walk with our Lord Jesus.
Can you, as a family, remember special "wow moments " that you will never forget?
Chrisna: Seeing and touching a Koala Bear , experiencing God's Greatness in the Grand Canyon and Alaska's glaciers. Charlie: Seeing my family after two months. Tinus: God's special gifts during the Alaska cruise. DawieJ: Receiving a word from the Lord from strangers in Australia and NZ. For myself: Seeing a banner with the three words on it: "Family , Faith, Friends"...when I saw it I thought: "this is IT, this is me! That is why I will devote my life to leadership development and the local church so that people will reach their full potential , enjoy life to its fullest and God's glory will shine!" But there were many more...seeing the Grand Canyon, the majestic snow covered mountain tops in Alaska, the many prayer times as a family, the special people we have met, etc. etc.
The whole trip sounds so exciting with so many wow's and so many highlights - were there any disappointments as well?
When you travel so much and so far as a family with a limited budget, there will always be numerous challenges. But through God's grace we could turn them all around into great learning experiences. (Like to walk in the snow for kilometers after our car could not go further one night in Germany to mention only one). I think it is very true that the only real disappointments were when we as individuals sinned and we did not reflect God's glory through our characters, thoughts, words and conduct.
What have you learned so far?
So many things. Read my blog comment on the 9th March 09. (http://fourieworldtour.blogspot.com/2009/03/ali-newsletter-9-march-dawie.html) Maybe I can add: God is GOOD and GREAT. There is no one like Him! The needs in this wonderful Godly created earth are growing. We have to press harder for the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. We have to pursue in love and faith. We should not try to do it alone. We need family, friends, a local church, a strategy and above all the power of the risen Jesus Christ inside us.
Will you do such a tour again?
I seriously doubt if such a tour is possible more than once in one lifetime. The circumstances around our children will also never be the same again. But if it is God's will, I most definitely will.
Is there any last message you have for the people reading this blog?
God created this earth in its splendor and beauty. He saw that it was good. Then He made you and me and He said it was VERY GOOD. (Ps119) We have one life...let us make it count for the King of all kings, for the Lord of all lords. Accept Jesus' forgiveness, give forgiveness yourself: quickly and in abundance, live with a soft heart, do not judge others, treasure your family, diligently pursue your purpose, get actively involved in a local church within your area of gifts, never stop learning, keep your passions burning hot and finish your calling. While you are on this journey... laugh a lot and walk intimately with Jesus!
Dawie Fourie - 30 May 2009 - Whitefish, Montana, USA