Plucking the Money Tree!

Myanmar Visa 2011September 12, we received our visas for Myanmar. The estimated six days to process took three weeks instead. I do not buy airline tickets for destinations requiring visas until the visas are obtained since we buy non-refundable tickets. Immediately, we submitted our anticipated itinerary for Myanmar, India and Sri Lanka to our travel agent. Within a couple of days we received and confirmed the travel agency’s itinerary as well as paid for most of the airfare for this trip – a whopping $6,876! We still need to buy air plane tickets and pay for taxis (car and boat) in Myanmar. Add to these expenditures lodging, meals, program expenses, computer equipment for one of our translators and literature (including Bibles). In addition, we are carrying funds for different brethren to nationals in the countries to which we are going. Altogether, the costs for this three country trip (with stopovers in still more countries) is approaching $20,000. Bonnie and I feel a grave sense of responsibility respecting this type of an investment through us in taking the Gospel abroad, and at the same time, we have a great deal of gratitude for the Christians and congregations of the Lord’s church that make all of this possible.

Now, we must finish the details this side of the ocean. We must make sure that we have our lessons adequately planned and ready. Then, we will patiently as we can endure the tedious security screenings at the airports through these 12 time zones we pass. Our tailbones will surely ache as they inevitably do as we jet across the sky westward into Asia; especially that 16 or so hour hop over the Pacific Ocean can be very wearying. It is time for the unfamiliar foods and the culture jolt as we translate ourselves from western to eastern society. Once more we will trick our bodies into thinking we are supposed to be awake when we ordinarily sleep, and to sleep when we usually are awake. I am always amazed that even in the 21st century, it still takes three days by commercial jet airplane to get to the other side of the world.

We leave Memphis, TN on the morning of Thursday, September 29, and we arrive back in the States on November 21. Gospel Gazette Online will be late, and other matters will simply have to wait for our return. We trust that all will go well and that we will be able to glorify God and edify souls, beginning with our own.

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