On the Road Again
I’ve never suffered from jetlag before. Previously when I travelled, I just stayed up until bedtime, slept through the night, and started the next day as a matter of routine. Not this time. I suppose I’m getting old. I’ve wanted to sleep at 7 p.m. and my eyes still pop wide open at 2 a.m. I had just begun to settle into a more normal routine when I had to get up yesterday at 2 a.m. for our Church-Wide Mission (“CWM”). I know the latest fitness craze involves “muscle confusion,” but I’m trying the theory with my Circadian clock!
Our CWM began ten years ago with a trip to Lousiana, and has included one to West Virginia, but all of the rest have been in SC or GA. This year, however, we are travelling to a foreign country – Syracuse, NY. The logistics for a trip of that distance are different and more difficult. It involves much longer travel (hence, the 2 a.m. wake-up call) and getting more done with fewer people. This year, 83 have made the trek to build a 7,000 sanctuary for Bellewood Baptist Church. Check out their story at www.bellewoodchurch.com.
We gathered in the church parking lot at 3:30 a.m. Everyone was so keyed up, you would never have known that breakfast was still five hours away. Packing the buses and vans went smoothly enough, and within an hour Coley gathered us together and called their pastor, Matt Hallenbeck. He prayed for us and as he did, you could sense the exscitement building. By the time he said, “Amen,” I feared a stampede. And with that great sense of purpose, we were on the road again.
The trip was long. One of the buses experienced mechanical problems with the overdrive. I’m no mechanic, but it seems it was simply the steep grades we were encountering, and we worked around it by manually disengaging the overdrive. When you caravan with that many people, you’re bound to have more stops than any of us are accustomed to, and we did. But I think that helped us begin the process of “bearing with one another” for a 9-day trip in close quarters. Anthony was driving his truck and pulling a trailer full of tools and luggage, and he also experienced some problems. We were blessed, however, that these occurred close to the end of our journey. And so it was that shortly after 11 p.m., our 16-hour trip that took 19 hours came to an end.
Our host church is Northside Baptist Church in Liverpool, NY (www.northsideonline.org). They are gracious in sharing their facilities and we’re grateful. The men are sleeping in the sanctuary, a large multi-purpose room that doubles as a gymnasium and worship center.
Having not quite recovered from Uganda, I felt unprepared. Jeremy and I had one sleeping bag between us. I had hoped we might pick up an extra once here, but the later-than-expected arrival ruled that out. I asked our Father to help us sleep well enough (we both needed it) and he answered in a generous and unexpected way. William walked up to us and said he had brought an extra air mattress in case anyone needed it. It was perfect and we slept very soundly. It felt great. I’d had 3 hours of sleep in the previous 48 and was running on fumes.
So imagine my surprise when my eyes popped wide open at 5 a.m. 🙂