There must have been a ton of tension for traders about to embark for the Silk Road. The journey was not for the faint of heart and took months, if not years, to complete.
They knew there was danger on the road. Thieves and brigands roamed its many passes and highways. Despite the many way stations that dotted the route, harsh climates and strange cultures awaited anyone brave enough to leave his community to search for wealth and adventure. This was the ultimate in venture entrepreneurship for hundreds of years.
In my own decision to pursue ministry on the road I can't help but feel that same tension. It's not the wild landscape it was in the days of Marco Polo but today the Silk Road poses new threats. Islamic militants, human traffickers, drug empires, and gun runners work right underneath the noses of armies, tourists, commercial traders, and missionaries. There is more political consideration in what route I take because of the volatile relationships some of the nations have with one another in the region. In addition to that, the same harsh climate that proved formidable in the past still rules over the road without any signs of letting up. I guess my overly strewn out point is that this will be hard. The hardest thing I've ever done. That realization is scaring me a little bit.
The preparations that need to be done are all daunting. I need to:
- Get out of debt.
- Get in shape.
- Save/raise $20,000 for the First Expedition
- Get all necessary vaccinations and visas.
- Establish on-the-field contacts prior to arrival.
- Tie up any loose ends here at home.
- Actually go.
It may not seem like much but that will take me 3 years to complete. I anticipate that I will be on the plane heading east by my 30th birthday. Of course, the Lord does his own thing regardless of my plans. I only hope that I will be able to accept his plans if they contradict mine.
I'm reminded of Matthew 6:25-34, the don't worry passage. Essentially, Christ is saying to trust in God to meet our needs. This is because He has met the needs of the animals in our world and we are worth more than they are. He does this so we can fearlessly seek the Kingdom first with reckless abandon. After all, our Father owns a thousand cattle on a thousand hills. He can take care of us. I have to remind myself of this daily. Even more so since I have decided to really do this ministry.
So, for the first blog post of the Silk Road Mission, I am going to be vulnerable. I'm having trouble trusting God for my provision. In this season of preparation my biggest lesson to learn is trusting Him. Can you relate? Let me know in the comments below. I look forward to getting to know you!
That's all for now travelers. See ya next time!