A Long Way From Home
Itís approaching eight-oíclock in the evening local time here in Guinea. We're in Conakry at the CMA guest house. This is the farthest Iíve ever been from home in my life. This is a central hub for the CMA work in the area. Itís also a central hub for other mission organizations doing work in Guinea. This is a place where workers fly into the country, get settled into the Guinea time and climate, and plan for the travel to the place where theyíll be working.
My tablet tells me that it's 3:00 in the afternoon Athens time. So, that means we're 5 hours ahead of you. To say that I am tired right now is like saying that I think Cedar Point is an okay place to go. We left our house at 9:30am Monday and we just got into the guest house around 5:00pm Tuesday. We had some loooooooong flights and time at the airport. Sleeping in the economy section of the plane is a lot like trying to sleep in the middle of a minivan on a youth trip Ė nearly impossible!
I'll write more about our first impressions of Conakry tomorrow. Now we're having a debriefing meeting and heading to bed. We're leaving the guest house at 7:00am and heading to Kauroussa to meet the leader of the national workers who are working with the Maninka people here in Guinea. His name is Pastor Joel.
One very weird thought has been going through my mind the past few days: this is the farthest that I'm going to be from my wife - EVER! I'm one of those guys who loves his wife. I mean, I really love my wife. She's my best friend. I love being around her, love talking with her, love walking the dogs with her almost every morning, love sharing this journey the Lord has for us together. I love to debrief my day with her, help her with the debriefing of her day, and prayerfully plan the things He has for our future. I love spending time with my family, watching a movie, going for a bike ride, or just hanging out together for an extended meal-time conversation. This will be the longest I've ever been away from them.
So, why am I going this far away from them? Only one reason: because this was a clear leading from Jesus. This is not a vacation. This is not a fun trip. This is a trip Jesus called me to take to see whatís happening to advance His kingdom here in Guinea and how we can join Him in His work. Sure, we'll have fun while we're on this trip - but that's not why we came here.
I fully expect to take a trip like this with my whole family one day. My friend Cindy works with Adventures in Missions (AIM). She helps to facilitate mission trips for youth groups. She tells me that every once in a while she's able to facilitate a trip for a family who is going on a mission trip together. I think that's a great idea: families serving Jesus together on a short term trip, catching the vision of serving Jesus Christ on a global scale together as a family.
This year itís Rachel and I seeking His purposes and I canít wait to see what He has to say!
James E. Bogoniewski, Jr.