Heading to Heathrow
I said a short prayer as the BA flight took off from Belfast City noting a young woman sitting across the aisle who was doing the same, kissing a St Christopher's pendant and crossing herself. Air travel confronts you with vulnerability; for someone of faith you are reminded of your need of God.
I feel privileged and excited to be embarking on a partner visit to Burundi and Rwanda, and very glad to be travelling with Johnny and Emily from Glendermott Parish. But I tend to be a natural worrier and so the last few days have been challenging as I made final preparations.
This is my first long-haul journey since 2018 .... so I'm out of practice. Apart from all the unknowns connected with visiting new places and leaving loved ones behind, there's the added factor of my mother's advancing dementia and increasing frailty. Balancing all these very human worries, however, there have been a series of blessings from the Lord. Support and prayers from family, friends and colleagues has been very meaningful and at times quite overwhelming. Commissioning services in Glendermott and Ballyclare (my home parish) were very special, plus prayers from CMSI staff, my church Home Group and Bishop Seth during a very encouraging zoom call.
Fiona, my wife, took time to help me pack – something I seem to find increasingly hard to do, and then prayed with me this morning before heading into school. We read together from Psalm 121, "The Lord watches over you....He will watch over you as you come and go, both now and for ever". Mission exposes my insecurities but also creates space for me to place my trust in God. Praise Him!