Many have wondered how the Veal/Stiver trip has been going and the following will bring you up to date as of November 1.
We were all expertly chauffeured around London then through the Euro Tunnel underneath the English Channel without incident by Mr. Veal – despite him driving on the wrong side of the road in England (just joking).
We arrived in Germany on the 26th of October and then kept the Sabbath there in Cologne on the 28th. The German-speaking members are seasoned veterans of the Way and the fellowship was delightful and heartwarming.
On Monday, the 30th of October, Mr. Veal and I flew out of Amsterdam and arrived later that evening in Kigali, Rwanda. From Kigali we eventually made our way to the town of Muhanga by a very crowded public bus. Then, from Muhanga, we rode mototaxis (on the back of a small motorcycle driven by local experts) out into the country on a gravel road that eventually became a two-lane dirt trail, that eventually became a steep, one-lane trail. There we got off of the mototaxis and walked the remaining piece to the home of Rushyikana, our contact person in Rwanda. Again, what a delight to be with those of like mind. All but one of the small congregation there are members of Rushyikana’s extended family. Mr. Veal and I had the great blessing of being able to baptize Chantall Niyonzima on November 1, the date of this writing. Chantall is married to Rushyikana’s nephew, Jean Pierre. There is no greater decision or joy in one’s life than one’s baptism. It was a great day.
This evening still, November 1, we will fly out of Kigali en route to Madagascar. We very much look forward to seeing our brethren there.
All of this brings to mind something that Solomon once said: “There is nothing new under the sun”. We still recognize these as inspired words of wisdom today. Still, one might wonder if that is really true since cultures vary so much around the world. The natural environments that people live in and that they alter to suit their own interests, are as diverse as the cultures themselves. But the benefit of travel clearly endorses God’s wisdom as expressed through Solomon. Our environments or diverse income levels are meaningless as compared to the struggles and triumphs we all face or enjoy in the spiritual realm. We can struggle whether we have little or much. That is why Christ said: “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Matt. 6:31-33)
No matter our environment or our income, we are all in the same boat. Seeking God and His Kingdom first is our shared imperative in life.