I wrote this blog while on the high seas back in August. But being technologically-challenged, I had trouble getting it back here. I have returned and I still believe all the stuff I wrote, so I am posting it after the fact.
My wife and I are on a 35th anniversary cruise around the British Isles. Right now I am sitting at a table in the dining room of the ship as we cruise by the high cliffs along northern coast of Scotland. Obviously, it is amazing – at the moment, Gayle is aft taking photos of the same.
The whole experience has been pretty surreal. Friends made this trip possible for us. We are visiting countries that are so special to Gayle – her father was born in Lincoln, England and, as an MK (missionary’s kid), she would spend time every 4 years in England. I must say she is a certified Anglophile! While that word may scare you a bit, just look it up, it will be okay.
I am enjoying this opportunity so much; seeing some special features of God’s Creation; visiting some very meaningful historical sites (and the British Museum!); meeting lots of interesting people (including a Scottish Duke!); and doing it all with my wife and good friends. I really am a blessed guy.
And all of that leaves me with two special thoughts. The first is that I have been able to do things in my adult life that I never dreamed possible. Growing up in a suburban middle class family in Prince George County, Maryland, I never imagined all that I have been able to experience. Since I know I am not that good or that smart, it seems like some sort of miracle. I actually think it is. The only explanation I can come up with is that there is a God in heaven who loves His children and honors their effort to stay honest, open and willing with Him.
The second thing is that I am very excited about the work God has called me to do at Helping Up Mission. I talked about it in the ship’s laundromat with a guy today (yes, I did my own laundry – that’s how I travel light!). I love what I do and believe it is a very important work. I work with good people (the staff) and we have the opportunity to make an eternal difference in the lives of some special men (our clients). I also get to meet, know and work hand-in-hand with some pretty amazing volunteers, donors and friends of HUM. I am a blessed guy. See all of you again real soon.
Pastor Gary Byers
Spiritual Life Director