On Thursday of last week, I made my return flight to Colombia. Susy and Brian spent the night at our house and then we were up early and headed for the airport. In what has become a tradition, we left early with the intention of stopping at a Bob Evans for breakfast or having time to fix a flat or sit in a traffic jam. But with no problems, we made our pleasant family breakfast at a restaurant at the airport exit.

After that, we headed to the airport and as I checked in, Brian parked the car and Susy and Jeanie bought us a large Starbucks coffee. We sipped that together as I waited for the time to head back into the concourse. About an hour before my flight, I said goodbye to everyone and passed through security. The flight to Colombia was uneventful and very long. It was nearly ten in the evening when I arrived and nearly eleven when I made it to the apartment. But it had been a good flight and I thank the Lord for that.

For the first week I unpacked and straightened up the apartment. I paid bills that had piled up and worked to get everything up and running. Our photocopier had broken just before I left and I began the weeklong process of getting the repairman out to fix that. Now, as I write this, one week later, I still am working on getting the repairman out, even after many trips to make deposits in the company’s bank accounts and dozens of calls. Hopefully that will soon be up and running.

Sunday I attended church here in Normandia, the church closest to our apartment. I did not have any commitments, so I could simply sit back and enjoy the service. But afterwards, everyone wanted to talk with me and so it was nearly four in the afternoon before I could get left and make it home for a very late lunch. My first week back is also a time when I get hundreds of calls as everyone wants to greet me and welcome me back. It is also a time for meetings with the church leaders as we plan my participation in the church growth and leadership training here in Colombia.

Part of that effort is my work in the Bible College. I began setting up my classes based on the time I will have available and the needs of the work crew and the other guests I will be having in for ministry this semester. This Friday, I begin teaching for the first semester of this school year here in Colombia. Two weeks later the work crew will arrive. Two days after they depart, Dewayne Liebrandt will be arriving for two weeks of working with the deaf ministry. Then a few days after his departure, Dr. Mike Householder will be coming in for three weeks of intensive teaching in the area of evangelism and church growth.

So it is shaping up to be a very busy semester here in Colombia in this New Year. But then every semester is always a very busy one as I try to keep up with teaching full time, working with the Christian Day school and the churches as well. I will put in long days; often with short nights. But the work is thrilling and I am always excited to see the incredible things that God is doing here in Colombia. I am honored to be a part of this work and I am blessed to have you sharing in it with me!