Foreign travel

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I’m getting ready to take a team of people to El Salvador to help a local multiplier (Church planter). There are several things necessary to prepare for such a trip, especially when many have never been out of the United States before. Passports and visas are first, followed by travel insurance, tickets, lodging, state department cautions, language preparation, ministry schedules, what to eat and what to avoid, and of course, contingency plans. There’s more, but I just wanted you to get an idea of the preparation necessary for taking a team to a foreign country. What makes it easier is having someone organizing the trip with experience. Experience is the secret sauce that makes the trip run smoothly.

When someone goes before you, they are keenly aware of the normal “bumps” along the way. They know what to expect while going through immigration and customs. They also have eyes on swivels on our behalf. They’re quick to see a problem or possible danger lurking in the shadows.

I believe this is a great visual picture of what discipleship is or should be. “Discipleship is more than the transfer of information. It primarily refers to imitating a teacher’s life, instilling his/her values, and reproducing his/her teachings in others.” Following someone who has gone before you will help you navigate your journey. When traveling to a country, different than yours with a different language and culture, you long for someone to show you the ropes. Frankly, it can be a little fearful without a trusted friend.

So, if you’re a follower of Jesus, the Bible indicates we are sojourners in a foreign land. 1 Peter 2:11 Dear friends, I urge you, as foreigners and exiles, to abstain from sinful desires, which wage war against your soul.  We’re reminded that our true citizenship is in heaven and not here. Philippians 3:20But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ. Find someone who will “show you the ropes” of the Christian life. Someone who has been on the journey with Jesus a little longer than you. After all, on the street in a foreign country, it might be helpful to know what exotic food to try and what to avoid.

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