It’s Monday night as I write this brief message. Tuesday our plane leaves Des Moines, Iowa, and we make our long-anticipated journey home to Lebanon. When Katie’s dad was diagnosed with stage 4 pancreatic cancer back in February, and we rushed back to the US to be with him before he died, we had no idea it would be towards the end of July before our family of 5 would be back home together in Lebanon.
Who knew that a global pandemic would disrupt world travel, not just for days like after the terrorists attack on the US on September 11, 2001, but for months?
2020 has been a very difficult year for Lebanon, for our church, and for our individual families.
Lord-willing, by the time you read this, hopefully on Thursday, my family and I will be in Lebanon in a hotel completing the required 24-hour isolation. Then Friday we’ll finally arrive back on campus, and back to our home. We are looking forward to seeing you all again—not just on Zoom or Google Hangouts—but face-to-face (socially distanced, for now). We’re coming home!
Some of our students and church family are transitioning away from Lebanon to go to their countries of origin—their homes. No matter where you call home, whether it’s Lebanon, the U.S., South America, Egypt, Europe, etc.—let’s remember the biblical examples like Abraham, Sarah, Noah, who “were longing for a better country—a heavenly one” (Hebrews 11:16). In that heavenly country, there won’t be COVID-19. There will be no need for masks or social distancing. There won’t be a financial crisis, travel restrictions, or need for isolation/quarantine. There won’t be war, poverty, sin, or death. I’m longing to come home to Lebanon. But I’m longing even more to go to our heavenly home—the place Jesus has prepared for us. I invite you to give your mind a rest from the multitude of earthly problems all around on every side—and think about the heavenly country that we’ll be going to soon. Why not take a few minutes now to spend some time in prayer—and ask God to prepare you for that heavenly country, and also to use you to bring others to that country.