Our blog producer, Dr. Chrisna von Gericke-Fourie, instructed me to do a blog on our world tour with the theme: " Not too shabby". She said I may not preach or thank the "soldiers back home" ...again. I should do an ordinary blog: like a normal person...
On this very special world tour we use the term "Not too shabby" when we really enjoy something. When we feel spoiled or blessed!
I always thought I was as normal as can be -but according to my wife, apparently I am not - so let me try to write a "normal" blog this time.
Unspeakable, precious memories of London, Paris, Orcierres (France), Switzerland, Germany, Phuket, Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, Los Angeles, Palm Springs, Seattle, Vancouver, Alaskan Cruise, Whitefish (Montana), Toronto, Red Stone Lake (in Canada), Atlanta, Blue Ridge (mountain cabin in Georgia) and a Southern-Lake-Michigan-region-roudtrip are behind our backs. Chicago, New York, Southern France, Mediteranean Cruise and Italy to follow. Of the 40 weeks-trip, 30 have already passed. We do not want to go home yet! Our relationship with our Lord Jesus and with each other have been strengthened. To God all honor and glory for this unique opportunity.
We saw some of the most beautiful God created places, we experienced some of the most thriving churches, we met some of the most precious people on earth, we visited some of the most effective cities and institutions, we attended specific selected training seminars, we flew on numerous airlines, we went on a cruise, we rode on ferries, trains, buses, drove 10 different cars, stayed in more than 10 different houses, ate all kinds of food...
We talked a lot with other people, with one another, with God...we followed the news back home, local news and international news. We read newspapers, visited websites, watched CNN and local news channels. We have met with godly world leaders and closely followed President Obama's first 200 days in the White house.
We spent time planning the rest of our tour, kept communication channels open through Skype and about 30 emails per day. (I am hands on ALL the time...let me just add...it's easy to be hands on if there are capable and passionate people back home who are called and committed to lead in an agreed upon direction). We read books, hundreds of pages in the Bible and various documents on other religions. We wrote blogs, wrote various chapters of books to be published in the future, adjusted the curriculum of African Leadership Institute ("ALI"), developed new material for ALI , did presentations for various board meetings and actively manage the financial performances of all the ministries/businesses we represent (including the world tour finances) very closely and timely on a monthly basis.
We helped our children with their school work, upgraded their educational electronic equipment, visited various points of educational interest and played with them (board games, hiking, skiing, bicycle rides, gym, river rafting, golf, tennis, shuffle board, chess, table tennis, cricket, soccer, wrestling, base ball, etc.). We took them to some of the worlds most spectacular natural wonderss, to museums, science institutions, aquariums, buildings, Imax, base ball games, businesses, churches ( all kinds!), zoos, wilderness parks, water parks and lots more. And we enjoyed it very much. We continued with our regular "house meetings" and we took communion several times.
We prayed...a lot...for ourselves, for our trip, for the "soldiers back home", for ALI, for all our interests in Namibia, for the political process in our country and for individual leaders who we knew need to play an important role. We prayed for our president, his leadership, oposition leaders and for the transformation process in our country. We prayed for the leadership of the countries we visited, we pray for former president Bush' legacy, for wisdom for President Obama for the situations in Irak, Iran, Afganistan, North Korea, for Israel, etc.
Throughout the trip I was very aware of the of the Chrisna von Gericke Family Trust, which partially paid for our trip, trustees' instructions: we therefore stayed focused on new opportunities for ALI, the trust and the other interests we represent. We realized that these investments should not only be for the short term benefit of the country and the beneficiaries but also for the financial sustainability of the trust and those ministries we represent. To make sure we all stayed on course we had to list our goals and evaluated them every fourteen days...during a family meeting.
What a unique opportunity to see, to experience, to learn, to observe, to be stimulated the whole time and to make new investments - and all of that at a slower pace - with those who you love the most at your side ALL the time...not too shabby! Or what do you think?
Let me conclude with a passage in Scripture which summarized it the best for me:
( you need to reflect deeply to understand why I have chosen this passage)
2 Timothy 2 (NIV)
1 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. 2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others. 3 Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. 4 No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer. 5 Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor's crown unless he competes according to the rules. 6 The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops. 7 Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this. 8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel, 9 for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God's word is not chained. 10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory. 11 Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him; 12 if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us; 13 if we are faithless, he will remain faithful, for he cannot disown himself. 14...19 Nevertheless, God's solid foundation stands firm, sealed with this inscription: "The Lord knows those who are his," and, "Everyone who confesses the name of the Lord must turn away from wickedness." 20 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. 21 If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work. 22 Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.