If you can get a bug for traveling, I’ve got it. There’s nothing more incredible than packing my bags, boarding an airplane, and flying to a new place. The wonders of God’s creation ease my spirit, ignite my soul, and enrich my view of life!
Traveling is one of the most humbling experiences. The more places I go, the more I realize-there’s much more to life than my immediate surroundings. There are billions of people that live underneath the same sun and stars I work and sleep under. They breathe the same air I do. The laugh like I do, desire to be loved like I do, and most importantly, they need a Savior like I do.
Someday, I’d like to travel the world, meet the people God has created, and learn more about the Lord as I see His ingenious and incomprehensibly wonderful world! In these twenty-two years of my life, the Lord has blessed me to be able to travel many places already! Here are my top five so far:
1. The Holy Land. Israel is without a doubt, my favorite place in the world! The moment our plane landed in Tel-Aviv, I felt like I was home. Walking the same places where Jesus walked, reading His beautiful Words in the places He taught, and leading vacation Bible school in the city where He was born were life-changing experiences. I left part of my heart there and look forward to the day I go back…and even more so to the day Jesus comes back for us!
2. Haiti. James 1:27 says “Pure and undefiled religion is this: to love orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.” Holding sweaty, precious orphans in my arms has never been so sweet! As I held Mirason, Bergaline, Son Son, Michael, Sonia, Jonelle, and many more beloved children, my heart literally broke in two. They have no mommas. No one to dry their eyes when they are sad, no one to kiss their scraped knees, and no one kiss their forehead goodnight and sing them a lullaby. Yet, even though I am here while they are in Jeremie, Haiti, I can trust that the Lord is holding them in His strong arms, wiping their tears, and caring for their needs. And someday I hope to go back and love them some more!
3. The Big Sur. Traveling with my brother and sister has to be one of the most adventurous things I’ve done! Six years ago we met in California where my brother lived and traveled the Pacific Coast Highway. One of our stops included one of California’s national parks, the Big Sur. The views were breath-taking! Trees towered over our heads, the water crashed upon huge boulders while the sun set a brilliant picture, and flowers blossomed everywhere! We couldn’t help but sing “Indescribable” as we drove along the PCH. It will always be one of the most unforgettable moments of my life as we were in awe of God’s creation!
4. Wales. My senior year of high school we embarked on a journey to England, Ireland, and Wales. Thankfully, my mom was able to go with me on this adventure! Wales was the perfect mix of what I envisioned England to be like. The town we visited was full of quaint cottages, cobblestone roadways, and ancient castles. Just thinking about it puts a smile on my face and makes me want to brew a hot cup of tea!
5. Costa Rica. My junior year of high school I went on a mission trip to Costa Rica to do missions at a nursing home. One precious lady stood out to me here. She was blind and held a baby doll. We put a flower we picked from the ground in her hair, and her face lit up. There truly is joy in the little things. Although the beauty of Costa Rica was overwhelming, the treasure of her smile exceeded the skyline!
As I look at the globe, my heart begins to race as I wonder…where am I going next, Lord? My list grows daily..India, Italy, New Zealand, Uganda, Peru, Scotland, Greece, Australia, Hawaii… I’m looking forward to the next adventure God is planning! And I’m loving the one He has me on today!
Always remember: The present only happens once in a lifetime. Take hold of the places God has you traveling to. This adventure He’s writing will blow your mind!
Love to travel too. My next big adventure is looking forward to taking my girls with me so that they can experience the world’s many perspectives. The organization I work for, Mission Discovery, takes children as young as 5 on mission trips across the country. What an awesome experience to see God at work as a family. I can’t wait to see God open their eyes to how marvelous He is…both at home and away. =-)
Stephanie, that brings so much joy to my heart! I went on mission trips when I was younger, and I can honestly say that God used that to open the eyes of my heart to see His love for people, and that He is SO much greater than we often think Him to be! His world He’s created is just a beautiful reflection of His character and incredible creativity. I pray that your girls get a love for travel, and most importantly, a hunger and deep love for Jesus!
I love Mission Discovery! That’s the company that took me on my first trips! I spent several summers with Maury and Jimmy in Mexico. “Pick your nose on this side of the border. Pick your nose in the Good Ole USA. Pick your nose whilst you can ’cause when you step off that van…”
I’ve always heard that about Israel, and your post made me want to go that much more! Loved this light-hearted Friday message, friend!
I love to travel, but find myself doing it alone more as I am in my 30’s with no strings attached. I would like to branch out and see more of the world – does anyone know of good worldwide mission groups the I might plug into, so that I can volunteer a couple days of a trip and meet some locals in the process? Some places on my bucket list include Quebec/Montreal, Austria, British Isles, Russia, Scandinavia, New Zealand, Israel.
Hey Heather! Long Hollow offers many mission trips right now to Haiti and Uganda. They are going to be adding more trips to other countries soon! I’ve only been on mission trips through the local church, however, I have seen many organizations that offer trips! Precept Ministries (with Kay Arthur), goes to Israel on a teaching tour. I’ve heard that is incredible! Amazima Ministries (with Katie Davis) offers trips to Uganda to visit Katie and her beautiful children she’s adopted as well as the orphans (http://www.amazima.org/visit.html). The International Missions Board offers several trips to various places, too! (http://going.imb.org/) There are SO many ways to get to where God has called you. Don’t let the idea of traveling alone and being in your 30’s stop you. KNOW that God is ALWAYS with you, and embrace the adventure of traveling the world, seeing His creation, and meeting His people. You never know who you will meet and what He will do once you take that leap of faith! Praying God opens doors for you to go on mission for Him!
I love to travel too, Gretch! Thanks for taking me in several adventures with you through this post!! My bags are packed…let’s roll!
Oh Wow Gretch! I love how much the Lord has allowed you to travel! So beautiful! The only thing was Africa was not on that list one day…
It is a beautiful thing to be able to experience the Lord is all places, not only America! He is EVERYWHERE!
Jess, I would SO love to go to Africa! That is most definitely on the list of places to go to! He is everywhere! Thank you for being such an encouragement and for having fresh vision that our life is completely, 100% about His glory and His fame alone!
Jessica! Take me with you!!
Gretchen, I lovvv this post! I’ve got the travel bug too and loved hearing ab your adventures and all God has shown you! Here’s to your next adventure! Where do u want to go??? I’m there!!!