Baby Bison, don't tread on that pretty flower...

Baby Bison, don't tread on that pretty flower...
Custer State Park, SD; June, 2010

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Columbia, TN, United States
I am a Christian, married over 43 years to my gorgeous first wife; in 13th year as professor of education at Martin Methodist College in Pulaski, TN; 4 children and 9 grandchildren.

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

My Mission Lazarus Story: Day 1

All the money had been raised. Two months of Wednesday night classes on the language, culture, safety and security, travel arrangements and other details had been completed. In a special time on Wednesday, June 2, the elders had met with the ML team for prayer. All of a sudden the mission trip is history. It seemed to go so quickly. I plan these first blogs as daily accounts of details as I try simply to tell you the story a day at a time and try to include a few photos. Later I may attempt to have a more reflective blog.

Day 1, Saturday, June 5. I was awakened by Marty’s loud knock on the door. It was 12:48 a.m. The alarm that I thought I had set for 12:15 a.m. failed to go off. Fortunately I was ready and armed with a 2-hour nap. We left in three minutes for the 10-minute drive to the church building. Thirteen (Caleb was meeting us at the airport) of us gathered for packing and a prayer in the West 7th parking lot with a few fare-thee-wellers up all night with the Relay for Life celebration seeing us off. The 1:15 a.m. departure put us right on schedule (a word that became synonymous with “flexible.” We didn’t stop until we were about 10 minutes from the Atlanta airport. Then it was for gas, potty, and a McDonald’s breakfast (yummy?). The airport was absolute bedlam until a Delta official named Debbie took is in hand from the unmoving check-in line.We went around the corner to a separate kiosk and were all done and headed to security in about 15 minutes: empty pockets, off with the belts and shoes, everything and everybody through the detection devices; 30 minute wait at the gate and we were on the plane.Our plane was about 14th in line to take off. That only took about 15 minutes and we were up, up and away… On the plane we filled out our customs forms – I watched Avatar, a film I had seen with my son Matt in December in 3D when it first came out. The little airline screen on the back of the seat in front of me didn’t quite bring the same images to my brain…but it was okay. Because of time constraints, I watched some of it in the fast forward mode without the sound. It was interrupted every few minutes by PA announcements.After an abrupt and somewhat startling landing on a short runway in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, we passed uneventfully through customs and baggage claim. We packed into our four rented vehicles and proceeded to KFC for lunch. Then came the quite harrowing 3+ hour drive to the Mission Lazarus ranch in San Marcos.This being the “rainy” season, everything was green and incredibly beautiful.
After a lovely sunsetand supper,we had our nightly sharing time. We were given two challenges: learn something about yourself and learn something about God in the week ahead. It was easy to stretch comfortably in the “snug as a bug in a rug” sturdy bunk beds in the cabin. I was in bed and fast asleep by about 7:30 p.m. My last thought was of my favorite scripture from Zephaniah 3:17…The Lord God is with you. He is mighty to save. He takes great delight in you. He quiets you with His love. He rejoices of you with singing.

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