On Tuesday of this week, I flew back to Colombia to begin this semester and work period. The school year begins here in Colombia at the very end of January or early in February. Since I teach in the graduate school program of the Bible College, I like to return a week or so before that so I can check on my class schedule and begin my preparations for teaching. It is also a good time to get back in order to work with our Christian day school, as I can be here for the beginning of classes there as well. It is also a great time to get back in order to work with the churches. The New Year is always a time of new beginnings and so it makes sense to be here as the churches organize their programs for the coming year.
Each trip back is a day long odyssey that leaves me exhausted. Getting suitcases ready with the teaching materials I am bringing back in with me and finishing up projects I had going in the States means the last week or so are filled with hectic activity. Then the day of the flight, it is up early and I then load the suitcases in the car. Susy and Brian came over and along with Jean; we all headed up to the airport. We have a family ritual now where we stop at a Bob Evans and have a hearty breakfast. That serves as my lunch as the flight to New York does not include a meal, even though it occurs over the lunch hour.
After we eat, we head on to the airport where I check in. We take time for a coffee and then say our goodbyes. I pass through security and wait for the next hour for my flight. I leave about eleven thirty and get into New York a little after one in the afternoon. There is about a three hour wait there as I make my connection for Colombia. Then it is a six hour flight into Bogota where I arrive after ten that night. Getting through customs means it is after eleven when I get to the apartment.
My first few days here are taken up in simply resting up from the flight, unpacking suitcases, and then getting the apartment set up and stocked up for my next six months down here. Even though I plan on about a week to get everything set up and to rest from my trip, I begin to get calls and visits from the Colombian brethren almost as soon as I land. They are all excited to see me and enthusiastic about the different ministries that we will share over the next months. I really enjoy my visits to the States as it is a time to enjoy family; especially the grand children while they are small. It is great to visit many of you and share in all that God is doing here in Colombia.
But it is also always great to get back to Colombia and to be about my Fatherâ€™s business here. I look forward to sharing with you many new and exciting developments in ministry as God opens new doors of service here. Do keep me in your prayers as well. While things have improved greatly, Colombia remains a place where there are also great risks to accompany the great opportunities. In that way we share in the ministry and the excitement of all God is doing here.