Well, nearly 190 hours and 5 billion calories after touching down in Minnesota last Monday, I am ready to go home!! The dual purposes of coming to MN for an extended time were accomplished. I had a great time during the National Coalition of Men’s Ministry conference held in Burnsville, MN at my home church, Berean. The consensus from the group was that the church was very hospitable, the speakers tremendous, the conference an overwhelming success and a desire that next years conference would be in a more tropical climate :-). I would agree. However, if that is what had happened this year, the second purpose of my trip wouldn’t have been possible.
I had the great privilege of meeting with more than 25 friends and family for meals and fellowship directly as well as at least another 30-40 via Sunday School, Worship service at church and other chance meetings at various coffee shops around time (including Caribou, my favorite coffee shop of all) plus another 30 or more men I met while attending the NCMM conference. Some of those meetings were to share in more depth the nature of our current financial support situation but mostly it was to simply connect and to express my love for them in word while they expressed it in word and deed. I was treated so undeservedly well. It’s “knee dropping” humbling to me. I am honored by God’s gift of friendship.
However, in my absence from home, while being overwhelmed by the goodness of so many, I miss my wife and my daughter. I miss seeing their beautiful face in the morning, listening to their antics of the day and just being with them. This is the second longest trip I’ve ever taken alone away from my family. The longest was last year when I was gone for over two weeks. I must say that God accomplished much more through me this trip than through last year’s trip. I was more intentional to meet as many as possible during my open time slots. And, God provided those meetings.
I don’t know all of what got accomplished during the meetings I had but I do know that many more of our team know we love them and desire to minister to their families and marriages via the ministry of FamilyLife and that we can’t do what we do without them. They are indeed the most integral part ministry outside of the work of the Holy Spirit.
So, thank you to all of you who made this trip a success. You are loved and appreciated. But, I’m glad to soon be back in the arms of my lifetime lover…my gorgeous wife, Sue. In the inimitable words of Fred Samson, “I’m Comin‘ home Elizabeth (except it’s Susan, for me :-)”