A note from my faithful travel partner, Christine
After traveling for about 25 hours, Lynne and I landed at OHare right on time yesterday afternoon.
Among the many small-but-huge things for which we are thankful . . . All of our flights (across two continents) were on time, our baggage always showed up, nothing was lost or stolen, we never needed to use our "traveler's diarrhea" medication or any of our insurance policies and we made it through multiple border crossings and checkpoints without incident. And all the people said, "Amen!"
We are also incredibly grateful for the huge-really-huge things . . . Safety in the Congo, where there are still active hostilities among militias and travel in the interior is challenging; the privilege of getting to know so many people whose work and faith requires significant and ongoing sacrifice—for them and their families; the impact of and receptivity to Lynne’s speaking, especially through translators and across cultures. For all these things and more, we say another heartfelt "Thank you!"
And I am also very grateful for your thoughts, emails and prayers while we were traveling. When far from home for a long time, reading news and notes from friends and family feels like opening presents; and I am certain it was your prayers that graced and smoothed our travels, relationships and experiences throughout.
This journey included so many things—adventure, privilege, grief, discernment, challenge, hilarity, inspiration—but if I could choose just one word to describe it, that word would be "gift." A mind-bogglingly huge and humbling gift.
It was so good to see the smiling face of my friend, Kris, who came to pick me up at the airport. Lynne was greeted at the airport by Henry (with a couple of adults in tow). It may say something about the intensity of our trip that Lynne’s first priority upon arriving home was a two-hour play date with Henry—and then twelve hours of sleep! We look forward to ongoing debriefing with each other this week, and Lynne will post additional stories and photos on her blog in the days to come.
Peace and blessings,