Off to Israel

I’m heading to Israel this week for a tour of the Holy Land with 30+ other pastors. I’m absolutely delighted to be going and simultaneously dreading being away from Russell for a full 9 days.  I know, it’s only 9 days, but I’m going to miss that little man!  I remember my childhood pastor Stuart Briscoe telling stories about missionaries back in the day who packed their belongings in a coffin and sang the old hymn, “I’ll See You Someday in Heaven” as they hugged and kissed their loved ones forever goodbye at the boat dock and headed to the mission field.

I wonder if there is any modern-day equivalent of such total abandonment to God and calling?  Leaving family, friends, comfort, home, and land to follow God’s calling when there was no Internet and only a slow boat in one direction seems to me now to be so single-minded, so final, so fully abandoned. Where are today’s examples, in the United States, of people who are “abandoning all” in surrender to God’s call on their lives?  Maybe I’m just being nostalgic about the old-school missionary stories, but I wonder sometimes if we haven’t lost something since then?

What do you think? Do you have any present-day stories of people who have sacrificed very deeply to follow their understanding of Jesus’ mission for them?

As I say goodbye to my sweet Russell for the next 9 days, I remember and honor others who have gone before me and modeled gracious openhandedness with the people and possessions dearest to them.

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