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  • Writer's pictureRichard Parrish

Mission Armenia: Travel Light for a Marathon Run

#MissionArmenia Travel Log - September 7

How Many Bags Are You Carrying?

A lot of preparation for this trip has already taken place. Coordination of travel schedules has been enough to confuse the mind. I don’t know what I would have done without Nicole, my wonderful assistant who has helped me with the scheduling process.

Then, the last-minute adjustments required because of COVID restrictions! A rapid test requirement caused me to make a last-minute “rapid trip” to the airport yesterday!

As I’m sitting at the airport, ready to board the first leg of my journey, I noticed my small suitcase and backpack. It’s a visual reminder to me of how important it is to travel lightly. Not only for travel to Armenia and Eastern Europe — but in life in general.

Life has a way of pressing us with last-minute issues that increase our anxiety. It’s like adding one more thing to crunch into an already over-packed suitcase (life). The image of my small suitcase and backpack reminds me: I have all I need for today (and tomorrow) because God is with me.

Pray for the pastors and leaders in Armenia and Eastern Europe. Their lives are packed full of responsibilities, grief, and challenges. May God use me as an instrument to help them discover how essential it is for them to travel light when tempted to find room for one more item to jam into an already over-packed life!

Thanks for traveling with me!

#MissionArmenia Travel Log - September 8

Life’s a marathon, not a sprint

I arrived in Frankfurt at 8:15 am, Wednesday (11:15 pm Tuesday, Phoenix time). The flight was comfortable, as I was able to score an exit row and had room for my long legs. However, I only managed maybe an hour of sleep.

Nothing is on the schedule for today. The weather is beautiful in Frankfurt. I purposefully planned a day to rest and refresh. Scheduling time to adjust to a nine hour time difference (soon to be 11 hour difference in Armenia) gives me the opportunity to allow my body to acclimate to the new time zone.

Life’s a marathon, not a sprint. It’s taken me a number of years to recognize: constant running is not good for us. God understood how essential a Sabbath rest is for us. If God, who created this universe rested on the Sabbath, I think there’s a lesson for me to learn.

I’ve stopped to enjoy a cup of coffee and an amazing German pastry — nourishment to keep me awake until I can hit the bed tonight for a good night’s sleep.

While in Frankfurt, I got to meet my Uber driver, Mohammad. He’s lived in Germany for six years, but he is from Afghanistan. His family is in Kabul now. He told me that his father, brother, and sister are in danger and are trying to escape the atrocities of their country. I asked him if I could pray for his family. He said he would appreciate it, and thanked me. I then asked him if he would be comfortable if I asked my friends to also pray for his family.

“That would be wonderful,” he said.

Will you join me in praying for Mohammad and his family?

It doesn’t matter where we go in this world, people need HOPE. My heart aches for Mohammad and his family. Lord, have mercy!

Thanks for your prayers and traveling with me via Facebook.

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