Whether traveling around the world or around the block, there's lots to learn about life, love, and the pursuit of happiness on our journey , so lets dive into a new ocean together!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Lady Traveler's Appointment.


There will always be the unknown.  There will always be the unprovable.
But faith confronts those frontiers with a thrilling leap.
Then life becomes vibrant with adventure!

Our old hometown, Huntington Beach, CA
There we are, camping near the Surf City pier
2016
There were times when I asked myself,
Who am I?
Why am I here?
Where am I going?
I have a feeling you've asked yourself those questions 
at least once in your life, 
especially on a bad day.

Through my seventy-one years,
I'm slowly learning who I am, why I'm here,
but I still don't know where I'm going.
Well, besides heaven.

I've stopped wearing most my masks.
For example, the one that politely answers,
I'm just fine, thank you.
when someone asks how I am.
When actually I want to say,
I'm crappy, thank you.
I'm going through a divorce,
I can't eat or sleep,
my Mother just died,
and my Daddy has been diagnosed with Parkinson's.
(that was me, back in 1986)

Where's my mask?
Zion National Park, UT  2016
Through the years, through many challenges,
God has shown me how to be more honest.
I don't have to say all the right words,
and do all the right things.
I don't have to be perfect.
So I threw my sweaty, stinky masks in the trash can.
(don't you remember those confining halloween masks 
when you were a kid? Yuk!)

And with that came such freedom!

Freedom!!
Moab, UT  2016

I love the story of Esther because 
she didn't know what her outcome would be,
but she resigned herself to obey God anyway.
And her obedience saved millions of Jews from annihilation.
That was her appointment.
Read her story to inspire and encourage you.
Because each of you has an 'appointment.'

I say all that to say this, my friend:
You are special.
You have an appointment for such a time as this.
(wife, mother, single career gal, doctor, nutritionist, architect, writer,
artist, housekeeper, whatever your title)
You might not know all the details, but that's okay.
You have a purpose, an assignment.
Whether big or little in our sight, it doesn't matter.
It's BIG in God's eyes,
and that's all that really matters.

So I ask myself daily,
Am I in alignment with my assignment?
(that has a ring to it, doesn't it?)

As you pray, God will guide you daily, step by step.
Simple, isn't it?
That gives us the freedom to enjoy our life,
God's creation, and God's blessings,

I wish you oceans of freedom blessings!


... and who knows whether thou art come to the kingdom 
for such a time as this?
Esther 4:14






Friday, May 12, 2017

My Mother, the Traveler

My Mother, a true southern belle
Mommy's warm brown eyes showed me love every day
My sweet southern belle Mama, Katherine Sue (Sue Dee)
left a legacy of faith, love, and laughter.  
She was born and raised in Sumter, South Carolina, 
content to never leave her hometown.  
Her family was poor, and her mom and dad died 
when she was a young girl. 
Her first husband was murdered right before her eyes.  
A few years later, she met my Daddy when he was stationed at 
Shaw Air Force Base. 
They soon married, had a darling baby girl (me!), 
and five months later
they were on a train heading for California.  
Mom's first trip across country.  Mine too.  
Before flying was in, traveling cross country 
via trains, buses and automobiles was the norm.

My Mommy, the beauty queen,
in the backyard of our 2-bedroom house in the 50's
Downey, California
When I was fifteen, Mom got up enough nerve to 
climb aboard a Greyhound bus in Los Angeles, 
along with me and my fourteen-year-old brother, 
and set out east to Surfside, South Carolina for the summer.

To most of you, that's not a big deal.  
But as I look back, I know that those two journeys for Mom 
was a very big deal.  
She was shy, fearful, a worrier, and a home-body.  
She was happy staying home, taking care of John and me, 
cleaning, ironing, cooking, 
taking us to church every Sunday ... 
all the things that were important to her.
But there were moments when she had to 
lose sight of her safe shore and dive into a new ocean. 
Yay, Mom!

When she died at the young age of sixty-six,
(heart issues and Multiple Sclerosis) 
a big piece of my life was taken from me.  
I was going through a divorce,
so I took refuge in God and 
raising my two wonderful children.

Mom isn't far from me; 
she just moved to heaven where I will one day join her.  
I know she is dancing and singing with Jesus, 
talking her head off, as usual, 
and making everyone laugh without even trying.  
That's my sweet southern Mama in a nutshell.
There's much more, but I'll leave the rest in my
Memory Box.

My message today: 

Wherever your mother may be, near or far, 
take some time to reminisce of times gone by.  
If she's still with you, ask her some questions, 
because when she's gone, it will be too late.  
I have so many questions I wish I had asked about her childhood, her younger years, her thoughts on topics-of-the-hour.  
I knew she loved Tom Jones and The Beatles.  
She sang Morning Has Broken and 
When I Survey the Wondrous Cross 
when she ironed and prepared dinner. 
Her first love was Jesus.


To all of you mothers--and YOUR mothers--
I wish you oceans of Mother's Day blessings!


Thursday, May 11, 2017

Lady Traveler, walking, biking, & swimming in Surfside ~ Part 3

One doesn't realizes how beautiful it is to travel until 
one comes home and
rests one's head on one's old,  familiar pillow.

Happy to be back in Surfside, SC May 2017

What a wonderful, whimsical week I had at
Ocean Lakes in Surfside, South Carolina.

Morning, afternoon, and evening swims.
Likewise, morning, afternoon, and evening walks along the beach.
Ditto bikerides.
Meeting new friends.
And of course, lots of writing.

My beach walks were my favorite times.
Each day as I gazed out at the magnificent Atlantic,
memories returned of the weeks spent crossing the Pond
on the WWII ship, MS Restoration.
Surrounded by miles of water, I was always reminded of how small I was,
and how great our God is.

Enjoying the surf with a dear friend.
Thank you, Betty and Reg, for driving down from Florence,
not once, but twice!
(they will follow us anywhere!)
I'm writing this blog from the comfort--and spaciousness--of my home-on-land.
(I consider Moon River to be our home-on-wheels).
Two homes.  Two worlds.

All the comforts of home.  It's called 'glamping'!
Popcorn loves glamping too!

Upon arriving home after our long drive home from the beach on Sunday,
(the traffic was bad)
my body needed to move around, so Rob and I spent several hours
emptying the RV of food, clothes, dirty laundry, etc.
Finally, after a long-awaited shower, I fell into bed and slept for 10 hours!
I never sleep that long, so I guess my body was telling me something:
Take a break.

Now, enough about me.
Many of you tell me that you are living vicariously through my travels,
thus, the title of my blog, Lady Traveler.
Some of you, due to circumstances beyond your control
--health issues, family responsibilities, work obligations--
cannot take off and travel for long periods of time.
(By the way, we couldn't either until Rob retired in 2015.
Also, we were care givers for Rob's Mother until she went to heaven in 2015).

A few of you just do not have the desire to travel.
You're content with staying at home, which is wonderful.
Travel isn't for everyone.
I just happen to love the combination of staying at home and traveling.

My encouragement to you is small, yet wise:
Wherever you are, at home or on the road,
Make each day count.
Smile, and thank God that He has allowed you to live another day.
Be aware of your surroundings.
There is someone outside your door that needs your smile,
that needs a word of encouragement from YOU.

Lady Traveler's view from Moon River
Surfside, South Carolina 2017
June will find Lady Traveler heading west to Shawnee, Oklahoma to an ACA Rally,
then north to Missouri to visit our son and d-in-love,
Shawn and Frances (yay!)
God only knows where we'll end up in July ...
Kentucky, Indiana, Tennessee, North Carolina ... 
Time will tell.

For now, this lady is going to spend the month of May 
enjoying every minute at home,
resting, writing, and 
inviting family and friends over for food,
coffee, sweet tea, a glass of wine,
and good ol' southern hospitality.

A view of Lady Traveler's backyard. Home sweet home.

Lady Traveler wishes you oceans of Mother's Day blessings,
and lots of rest in Him.

Come to me, all of you who are tired and have heavy loads,
and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28



Friday, May 5, 2017

Lady Traveler taking a long, beachy walk to the Surfside Pier - Part 2

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.

Broken Pier.  Broken Promises
Surfside Pier after Hurricane Matthew 2016
Returning to Surfside is always nostalgic for me.
Loving the present, and remembering the past.
After we set up camp at Ocean Lakes on Sunday,
I took the long walk to the Surfside Pier.
How wonderful it is to walk without pain, thanks to my new bionic knee.

As I approached the familiar pier, I noticed her damages.
Boards were torn off, her sidings down, and the end of the pier was literally demolished.
The pier was closed.
I later found out that her injuries were caused from Hurricane Matthew
that fiercely blew through the area last September.

Her injuries reminded me of my own knee injury.
Thank the good Lord that mine was repaired and better than new.
This is what I wish for the old Surfside Pier.

I stood for a long time, thinking of the memories that old pier represented.
It was the summer of 1961.
Flashbacks of ...
My Uncle Jimmy Bobo fishing off the end of the pier,
My young brother's first kiss at the end of the pier.
My hand-in-hand stroll with a 15-year-old tall Texan to the end of that pier.
(sorry, I'm not giving any further details).
And my cousin who eventually married a young man who worked at The Pavilion.
So many memories of fun in the sun with my family and new friends.
Two years later, my parents gave me a graduation gift:
a trip on a Greyhound bus to Surfside, South Carolina.
Much fun! More memories. And a few broken promises.

I smiled as I took the long walk back to Ocean Lakes,
thankful for my life, my husband, my family, my friends.
So much to be thankful for.
Even my memories.  

Eating breakfast at Surf Diner on the Surfside Pier, SC
Remembering.
And oh yes, delicious food and beachy atmosphere!
Until next time,
I wish you oceans of wonderful present memories.


To those who use well what they are given, 
even more will be given,
and they will have an abundance.
Matthew 25:29

www.facebook.com/sharonleafwriter
www.sharonleaf.com

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Lady Traveler walking and biking at Myrtle Beach--Part 1


Walk on a rainbow trail; walk on a trail of song, and all about you will be beauty.
There is a way out of every dark mist, over a rainbow trail.
Myrtle Beach State Park Pier SC
April 2017

Sea Captain's House, Myrtle Beach
One of my favorite restaurants
We drove three hours to arrive at this beautiful stretch of coastline
at Myrtle Beach State Park, South Carolina.
Our campsite is a two minute walk to the warm Atlantic Ocean.
They have two small markets; clean facilities; friendly atmosphere.
Note: Not all full hook-up sites will handle 50-Amps.

Rustic campsites
Heavy tree canopy; restricts satellite reception.
Local TV antennas seem to work.
After seven days of bliss, we are counting our blessings to have experienced God's beautiful creation.
Walking with Jesus by the sea was a peaceful joy I shall cherish.
Miles of long, sandy beaches
Myrtle Beach State Park, SC

Time flies when you are having such tranquility.
Morning cup(s) of coffee.  Breakfast.
Then decisions of what to do to fill the day.
Up speaks the Activities Director (me):
Morning walk on the beach. Bike ride. Lunch.
Afternoon nap (optional).
WRITING (mandatory). Reading. (optional)
Seashore walks.
Lounging on the beach.
Afternoon nap (mandatory)
Showers.
Dinner.
Game time.
Movie time.
Bed time (optional).
Believe me, I'm ready to hit the bed by ten o'clock.
You say, "No TV?"
That's right.
Life is Good

And of course there is walking our Princess Popcorn several times a day.
She loves the glamping life, as do I.
I notice she's getting older (14) because she loves getting cozy indoors, as am I (71 at last count).

Now onward to Ocean Lakes RV Resort, just a mile south of here.

I set my rainbow in the cloud, 
and it shall be for a sign of the covenant between Me and the earth.
Genesis 9:13

Whether around the world, or around the block,
I wish you oceans of daily adventures!

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Lady Traveler walks, hikes, and rides far and wide--without pain!

There will stretch out before you an ever-lengthening, 
ever-ascending, ever-improving path.
But this, far from discouraging, only adds to the joy and glory of the climb.

AFTER surgery:
Bike riding in Huntington Beach CA October 2016
AFTER surgery:
Hiking in Moab Utah, September 2016
'Lady Walker' 5 months after surgery
 Moab Utah 2016

BEFORE:

April 18 2016: One year ago I had my knee-replacement surgery


In the 1970's when running became the craze,
at the age of 32, I became an avid runner.
Running was my thing for over 40+ years.
I couldn't wait to run out my door to places unknown.
My motto:
You cannot discover new roads
until you are willing to lose sight of your front door.

So off I ran, like the wind.
Well, okay, more like a gentle breeze.

Besides my daily runs, I ran 10K's (6.2 miles) every month,
my first was the Los Angeles Marathon.
Picture this:  The finish line was in the
Los Angeles Coliseum!
And yes, I felt quite elated by the whole affair.
In 1979 I ran--and finished--a half-marathon with my faithful running buddy,
Mary Haworth. She was a young 54 at the time.

In all my running years, I never had a running injury,
but soon after moving to Huntington Beach, CA,
I had a work injury.
In 1999 I slipped and fell on a wet, solid concrete floor,
right smack on my left knee.
OUCH!
Through gritted teeth, I bore the pain for a year.
I even painfully hiked up to Masada when we traveled to Israel in 2000,
proving what a determined woman I was.

However, when I returned home, it was evident that I needed to have minor surgery,
which enabled me to run and hike again.
YAY!

Unfortunately, through the years the pain returned and increased,
and eventually x-rays showed that my left knee was bone-on-bone.
So last year, in 2016, I made the decision to have knee replacement surgery.
And I'm so glad I did!
Although I cannot run, I can now walk, hike, swim, bike-ride ...
... all the things I love to do ... without pain!
DOUBLE-YAY!!

I guess you say that this traveling bionic gal can also be called Lady Walker.

The moral to my story:
If you're in pain and contemplating whether to take the next step to bring a better quality to your life,
I suggest that you pray and seek wise counsel until you have peace about your decision.
Eating right, exercise, and prayer will make us stronger,
and our travels much more rewarding.

I wish you oceans of healthy travel blessings in the days to come!


So we have been greatly encouraged in the midst of our troubles and suffering,
dear brothers and sisters, because you have remained strong in your faith.
I Thessalonians 3:7



Sunday, April 9, 2017

Lady Traveler's thoughts on Palm Sunday

For God so loved the world that he GAVE his only begotten Son.
That whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.
John 3:16
Not all roads lead to heaven.

Easter is the time to remember and celebrate
the death and resurrection of our Savior, Jesus Christ.
Oh, happy day, oh happy day,
when Jesus washed my sins away.
(love that song!)

Oops ... perhaps I've stepped on someone's toes.
But can you come along on this ride anyway?
It might get a little bumpy but it'll be worth it in the end.

Last week as I read an article on Facebook
about Universal Christianity, I felt both anger and sadness.
The article compelled me to write this blog because the Bible warns us that
in the last days many will be deceived.


Jesus said,
"I am the way the truth and the life.
No man comes to the Father but by me."
John 14:6

"For the Son of man came to seek and save those who are lost."
Luke 19:10

Love and good deeds are good, but not enough to get anyone to heaven.

"Without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin."
Hebrews 9:22

Jesus said,
"Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life,
that I might take it again.
No man takes my life from me,
but I lay it down myself.
I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again."
John 10:17-18

Jesus said,
"Thou could have no power at all against me,
except it were given you from above: 
therefore he that delivered me unto you has the greater sin."
John 19:10

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men,
the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a ransom for all,
to be testified in due time.
I Timothy 2:5-6


During this Easter season take time to read the book of John (new testament) and 
you will read Jesus' beautiful and lifesaving words to you and to me.

As you study the Bible, remember to keep the gospel simple.
Don't be deceived by Universal Christianity.
Jesus loves you.  He chose to die on the cross for you so you can have
eternal life.
It is your choice to come to him. 

Jesus said,
In my Father's house are many mansions ...
I go to prepare a place for you.
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again and receive you unto myself;
that where I am, there you may be also."
John 14:2-3

I wish you oceans of wise choices!



Saturday, April 8, 2017

Lady Traveler's Travel Tips wherever you may wander

When preparing to travel, lay out all your clothes and all your money,
Then take half the clothes and twice the money.

One of my favorite summer shirts you'll see in many of my RV travels
(Kentucky Lakes, Kentucky 2016)
There are hundreds of websites, U-tubes, and such
that focus on various travel topics.
but I thought I'd share a few of my own personal thoughts to make
packing a little more personal.
Today I'll write about wardrobe tips for your upcoming summer trips.

When packing clothing for a long or short trip,
take a look at what you packed, then cut it in half.
I promise you won't wear half of what you packed so no need to
add work to the process.
When there is climate changes involved, packing can be a bit more challenging.

A favorite t-shirt-- wash-N-wear items to throw in the washer-dryer in our 40' motor home
(Aspen, Colorado 2016)
We drove our motor home to California last September,
so shorts, a few of my favorite t-shirts, and my favorite pair of 'safe' sandals
were my priority wardrobe.
Fortunately, the weather was warm and beautiful on our 6,000 mile, 2-month journey.
(In colder weather I pack a sweater, a pair of jeans,
and a pair of boots incase the weather turns cool).

The most important thing to wear everywhere is your
SMILE!
Your smile will outshine anything you will wear.
So don't forget to pack it!

See? I wear the same t-shirts over and over and over.
 (in Zion, Utah)
My only piece of luggage when traveling international to warm countries such as
Belize and Costa Rica is my faithful backpack on wheels.
For cooler countries, such as Paris, London, or Scandinavia,
I roll everything in a carry-on, take a large purse, dress in layers,
carry my coat on the plane, and wear my boots.
Look for websites and u-tubes for packing information.

My very favorite shirt; I wear it everywhere.
I love Paris! (2014)
I wear and pack very little make-up.
I use facial wipes to cleanse face every night,
smear on lots of lotion, and drink gallons of water.
We love to eat at local restaurants in every town and country,
so I keep my Isagenix shakes and vitamins nearby to keep me on the straight and narrow.

I love Paris when I eat!
(Dreyer Island, SC)
So whether you love to travel,
enjoy watching TV travel programs,
or just enjoy reading about traveling on blogs, hopefully mine,
I'm happy to have you on board.

We'll soon be heading to the beach for two weeks.
I'm looking forward to relaxing days of reading, wRiting, walking, blogging,
eating, swimming, meeting new friends ... sound fun?
Please come along!
You can find more about my travels on my website
www.sharonleaf.com

A few more important tips:
#1: Before we leave our house, we call our local police department.
They'll drive by our house several times a day or night, at random times.
#2:  We contact our local post office to hold our mail.
#3:  We have a trustworthy neighbor that keeps an eye on our home.
Now, we're off to a great start!


You gave me life and showed me kindness,
and in your providence watched over my spirit.
Job 10:12

Whether you travel around the world or around your block,
I wish you oceans of travel blessings!

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Lady Traveler on the road in the Gulf of Mexico ~ Part Two

Like all great travelers, I have seen more than I remember,
and remember more than I have seen.

Beautiful beaches on Dauphin Island, Alabama 
Traveling is in my blood.
Whether on a
plane, ship, train, bus, car, or RV,
I'm in my element.

Writing is in my blood too.
Whether at home, in a foreign country, or on the road,
I'm in my element.
The two go hand in hand.

This Lady Traveler is a simple writer and a simple traveler.
For me, they go hand in hand.

The purpose of our journey to Mobile, Alabama was for Rob to take 
Part 1 of a 2-day first responder chaplain training class in Mobile, Alabama.
Each day he came home drained, yet inspired.
"Helping and encouraging people is part of your calling," I reminded him.

Afterwards, we spent a few weeks in the gulf of
Alabama and Florida.
Some times we plan ahead, 
but most of the time we don't.
It's fun both ways.
That's what makes it a a true adventure,
not knowing where the road will lead you.
We have lots of old fashioned maps,
but the new technology of GPS's
usually keeps us on the straight and narrow.

We spent a week in at Pecan Grove RV Campground in 
Theadore, Alabama, just south of Mobile.
We were surrounded by pecan trees, rivers, and wildlife.
Forest Gump's fishing boat in a boat building yard
about 30 minutes from our campground.
We took day trips to the hot spots around the area:
Dauphin Island, Gulf Shores, and Orange Beach,
just to name a few.
And talk about delicious food!
I had the best shrimp and grits ever at 
Ginny Lane Bar and Grill in Orange Beach
 that overlooked the fishing boats on the river.
My mouth is watering just thinking about the special cajun flavor,
not to mention the loaves of warm bread delivered
faithfully to our table.
When the chef strolled by, he glowed as I raved about his special sauce.
(and thank you to my Downey High friend, Phil Urban for telling us about Orange Beach)
Fort Gaines on Dauphin Island, AL
Lots of history in this area!
Lunch at The Pelican Reef on
a windy day on Fowler River
Popcorn's new friend.  Don't think so!
Celebrating Mardi Gras for the month of February
from Pensacola FL to Mobile AL to New Orleans LA

A little history: I didn't know that Mardi Gras first began in Mobile.
There were parades and parties everywhere.
There was a Christmas tree decorated for the season in
one of the nearby restaurants, The Pelican Reef.
All too soon it was time to travel to the Florida Gulf.
What fun driving through the large and small beach towns.
Mexico Beach was one of my favorites, where we ate breakfast at Sharon's Cafe.
Of course I had to buy a t-shirt with my name written on the front and back.
And the breakfast was scrumptious!
Sharon's Cafe, Mexico Beach, FL

That afternoon we arrived at Ho-Hum Campground, and to our surprise we had
an ocean-view space right on the water!
Ahh, the sound of the waves beating on the shore, the seagulls flying overhead.
There is a bird sanctuary island within a kayak ride away.
But be on the look out for black sharks.
A room with a view.  On the waterfront at Ho-Hum RV Campground
Carrabelle, FL
It was hard to leave this slice of heaven, but these upfront spaces are reserved a year in advance.
They squeezed us in between reservations for 3 glorious nights.
We met the sweetest couple next to us and we are now Facebook buddies.
Another reason why I stay on Facebook, although there have been moments when 
i want to trash the whole FB habit off to the side of the road.
My happy place at Ho-Hum RV Campground, Carrabelle, FL

Our last campground stop for 3 nights was at Sopchoppy City Park right on the Sopchoppy River, 
in the town of -- where else?  Sopchoppy!
Surprise! We arrive the day of a Jesus River Festival,
complete with free hamburgers, hot dogs, and trimmings!

Come to Sopchoppy supplied with food, etc, as there is only one small market in town.

We come prepared. Home-cooked spaghetti--yum!

The only market in town ... cute and quaint
I wish you all had the pleasure of experiencing the southern hospitality
of the little town of Sopchoppy.
When you ask for directions they personally walk you out to the sidewalk and point,
"Head down this road, pass the curve, then turn right, then left, right again, 
and you're there."
Wow.  So simple.  Who needs a GPS anyway?

We made one last overnight stay at the friendly Waldorf Walmart in St. Mary's, Georgia. 
We ate at Hwy 55 Burgers Shakes and Fries.
Again, delicious! And I wasn't even hungry.

At last, Home Sweet Home. Never more to roam, until ... stay tuned.

Light is sweet, and it pleases the eyes to see the sun.
However many years a man may live, let him enjoy them all.
Ecclesiastes 11:7-8





Thursday, March 2, 2017

Lady Traveler's memories of Turkey and Sweden

Lady Traveler's memories of Sweden and Turkey
Dinner with my Swedish girlfriends 2008

There is much talk about the world's refugees,
which often takes me back to our journey
to Sweden and Turkey in the fall of 2008.
Rob and I have many fond memories of our 3-week trip.
It's hard to believe that it has been 9 years.

First, we flew to Sweden.
I was honored to be asked by my Swedish friend, Helene,
to speak to a group of Kurdish refugee women from Turkey.
The lovely dark-skinned women lit up the small room.
They were covered.  They were timid.  They were kind.
We gathered around a long table where they served the most delicious 
Kurdish dishes in my honor.
I usually can't eat before speaking (its called nerves),
but I made an exception.

Then it was time for me to share what God had placed on my heart.
At first it felt strange to once again be speaking with an interpreter,
but soon we were flowing together like old friends.

Afterwards, I offered to pray with those who wanted prayer.
Every woman waited patiently as I spent time
holding their hands and praying for them.
We hugged, then ate delicious desserts.
Believe me, I was the one who was blessed that day.
I thank Helene for the opportunity to spend time
with these refugees that needed a safe place to live.
To this day, the women and their families are not able to return to Turkey
due to the political atmosphere.
(no photos available)

A week later Rob and I took another leap of faith.
We flew to Istanbul with a small team of three Swedes.
Planes, trains, buses, and a lot of walking in a city filled with thousands of people.
Bus lines were blocks long.  How did they get to work on time? I wondered.
So many people.  Strangers to me, but not to God.
He sent us to minister to a handful of Armenian refugees who had begun a Christian work in the city.
Leaders that needed encouragement, love, and prayer.
That's the least we could do for these brave, courageous men and women.


In the flat of some leaders of a local Christian church in Istanbul
Praying for people after an evening service.
Pastor and family after Sunday church service
(Rob preached that morning and we prayed for congregation)

Istanbul, Turkey 2008

We met in the small flats in the city and in local churches.
We saw the famous sites of this beautiful city,
but it was the beautiful people who left the most profound memories.
Their courage to obey the call of God on their lives,
no matter what the cost.
They will stay close to my heart forever.

Wherever I travel, near or far,
I am always knitted closely together with my Christian brothers and sisters.

Let us not forget those who have fled their land in search of a
safe haven until they are able to once again return to their safe home.


Now, I beseech you brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ,
that you speak the same thing,
and that there e no divisions among you;
but that you be perfectly joined together  in the same mind,
and in the same judgement.
I Corinthians 1:10