For those of you who haven’t heard from me through this blog in a while, I’m officially back on the road as I write this, sitting at Starbucks in Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. I have an airport all-nighter ahead of me before connecting to Uganda tomorrow morning.

So for those of you who haven’t already heard, I have been invited by I Care Enough International Ministries (ICE) and their international training arm, River Bend Christian College, to train indigenous pastors in Uganda for seven weeks, and then in India for three more weeks. Yes, you heard that correctly. I am going for ten weeks, not accompanied by Gail, who is working at a new job now. In fact, in Uganda, I will be the only trainer, while in India I will be part of a small team.

The strange thing about all this is how difficult this is for both Gail and me. We haven‘t been separated this long since I went to Basic Training with the USAF in 1970, which by the way, was only about nine weeks. So this sets a record for us. We are both finding it painful, spoiled as we have been by always being able to serve together and many times over the years even to minister together. This is very different. However, from the first moment we heard of this opportunity, we both felt such a strong witness that this was something I needed to do that we have never questioned my going for even a second.

So here I am in Dubai, where I am on the way to serve with a local church planter in the city of Jinja, or Jinja Town, which is located at the headwaters of the Nile River, positioned on the banks of Lake Victoria in Uganda. Then I will fly back to Dubai and then across the Arabian Sea to Hyderabad, India, where I will be met by the local Indian church planter who will arrange transport to at least two different regional venues over the next three weeks. Home around April 1.

In each case I will be training local pastors from area church-plants about church planting principles. In addition, I have been developing a curriculum on Spiritual Leadership for Dr. Rooks, the head of ICE International. This, of course, drives like a locomotive right into my wheelhouse – developing teaching materials and teaching biblical principles. So for all the stress of separation and the strangeness of new places, I will be pleasantly occupied most of the time for the next ten weeks.

To say that I feel like I’m in the center of God’s will is a gross understatement – I feel like I have stumbled into a whole stack of those works prepared for us by God in eternity before we even existed (Ephesians 2:10), and it is my heart to be His workmanship crafted by Him for this effort. I deeply need your prayers to that effect. And Gail needs your encouragement as she keeps the home fires burning brightly.