Joy In the Journey

Ol Tukai, Amboseli, and Dusty Roads

Ol Tukai, Amboseli, and Dusty Roads

Day 1 – A Road Less Traveled It was Summer 1996, we had a one-week break from our Swahili language lessons, and we wanted to see more of Kenya. We built a comfortable place for our two girls (ages 3 and 1) to play and relax in the back of our 1988 Isuzu Trooper for a safari to Amboseli National Park. We drove down through the Ngong Hills, passing tea…

What Happened 20 Years Ago

What Happened 20 Years Ago

Twenty years ago I disembarked from a British Airways DC10 and stepped into the international terminal at Chicago O’Hare with my wife and two small girls. Twenty-four hours of flying and layovers is typically enough to make anyone’s brain feel like jello and their thoughts foggy – but the compounding of events that led to this moment would forever change me. I was dazed, deadpan, and totally numb. It was 20…

Joy In The Journey – Part 7 – Fairfield

Joy In The Journey – Part 7 – Fairfield

Click here to read the other Joy In The Journey Parts Traci and I arrived back from Africa in August 1991 and got settled back into life in Lincoln, IL. It was not a time for making decisions about our future.  The next 15 months would be a critical time, with decisions made that shaped what unfolded over the following decade. It shaped me more than I ever thought about…

Joy In The Journey – Part 6 – Back To Africa

Joy In The Journey – Part 6 – Back To Africa

After celebrating our second wedding anniversary, Traci and I set out on a new course together – raising the financial support necessary for us to go to Zaire, Africa on a three month short-term mission trip with African Christian Mission. My second trip, Traci’s first trip, and her first time ever on a plane. 🙂 Getting To Africa Raising support is one of those things where it is easy to…

Joy In The Journey – Part 5 – The Ministry Years

Joy In The Journey – Part 5 – The Ministry Years

The ministry years: 1987 – 1990 Petersburg Church of Christ In my senior year of college I opened a new phase of my life, what my college major was all about, serving and working in a church as a youth pastor. I was hired on at my first church, Petersburg Church of Christ in Petersburg, IL. It was a part-time position that I could drive back and forth to while…

Joy In The Journey – Part 4 – Traci

Joy In The Journey – Part 4 – Traci

I thought I would focus this part of the journey on my wife, Traci… at least the early years before she was my wife. We met during the fall semester of my senior year in college. I first met Traci when she was working in the college cafeteria, checking off meal card numbers and washing dishes. I realized I now had a greater purpose in hanging out in the cafeteria. It all started…

Joy In The Journey – Part 3 – Zaire (cont.)

Joy In The Journey – Part 3 – Zaire (cont.)

This is the second half of my 1988 summer trip to Zaire.  Here is the first half. Haut Zaire The second half of the summer began when Tim Doggett loaded us three interns into his 6-passenger, twin-engine Aztec Piper and flew us over the rain forest to the small village of Bafwasende.  There we met up with a couple of missionary families, the Bairds, and the Waltons. They quickly moved us out…

Joy In The Journey – Part 3 – Zaire

Joy In The Journey – Part 3 – Zaire

From Springfield, IL in high school, to Lincoln, IL in college, to Zaire, Africa after college. If you missed the first two parts, they are here – part 1 & part 2 This series on “Joy in the Journey” has been about my journey, starting in the summer of 1983, now up to the summer of 1988.  The summer of 1988 will go down as one of the greatest summers…

Joy In The Journey – Part 2 – The Butlers

Joy In The Journey – Part 2 – The Butlers

( Here is the link for the previous part – Joy In The Journey – Part 1) After leaving camp, I didn’t have a compass or point on the horizon to guide me. I was 18 years old and trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life and what to do with God’s call.  While I was not a new Christian, I wasn’t accustomed to “following”…

Joy In The Journey – Part 1 – The Call

Joy In The Journey – Part 1 – The Call

I believe that if you sit down with anyone, you can find that everyone has an incredible story of the journey they have been on in life.  One thing is for sure when you begin reflecting back on life, or listening to someone else’s story, you realize that life isn’t easy… but if you are honest and can look back and see how you’ve grown, you would agree with Michael Card…