International travel is an overall enriching experience that can’t be taken lightly. When we have the opportunity to travel to other cultures and countries of the world, we see our part in God’s family much more clearly. Not everyone looks like us, or talks like we do, or lives life the way we do. There is so much to learn, to know, and to experience.
Surprisingly, only about 3.5 percent of Americans travel overseas, according to www.huffingtonpost.com. All total, that is about 12.3 million leisure travelers added to the 2.3 million business travelers—that’s approximately 14.6 million U.S. overseas travelers a year—less than five percent of all U.S. residents.
Why Not You?
Access to other countries is much easier now, so I encourage you to start thinking and planning where you might want to go, or where the Lord might be opening up opportunities for you to go, with His good news.
This summer, our son had an opportunity to travel with a team to offer a music camp for children in Antalya, Turkey. He directed the children’s choir each day, and the musical play at the end of the week. Other volunteers on the trip planned games and arts and crafts activities for the children. They saw the hearts of the children open up to the love they were being shown, which brought an uplifting experience, spiritually.
While the team members were there, they took in the culture all around and tried to shine light to whomever they encountered. Turkey is known for its authentic hand-made rugs, and their specialty sweets, like Turkish delight. Turkish tea is also a popular pastime, sipped from very small vase-like painted pottery cups without handles. It’s quite delightful.
The members of the team purchased items from the merchants and interacted with them. There were even items for sale on the boats, such as hand-made beaded jewelry, Turkish fabrics and hand-carved wooden decorative pieces. Each merchant was increased with the sale of their products, which helped them economically.
The highlight of the trip, for many, was the ability to travel on boats across the Mediterranean Sea to the Greek Islands, and to recognize the significance of these Bible Lands. The Apostle Paul traveled to many of the cities in Asia Minor that are now known as Modern Turkey. In fact, the seven churches that are spoken about in the Biblical Book of Revelations are cities that are in Turkey.
The trip was amazing for the whole team and the many wonderful experiences will last a lifetime!
So, be encouraged to Go wherever the Spirit of the Lord leads you! Take the good news everywhere! (Matthew 28:19, Mark 16:15). And you can be assured that He will be with you (Joshua 1:9, Isaiah 41:10).
Article Written By: Debbie Harper, Ph.D.