Updated: Jun 2, 2022
We’ve just returned from a 10-day trip to Colombia, South America. I never thought I would say this but I am tired of flying. We visited 6 cities and flew 14 individual flights: why? Because it wasn’t feasible to drive. We would have had to cross mountains and jungles and it would have taken days. And having time with people was important.
I had not been to Colombia since before the pandemic. I don’t have an “official” role like Duke does (Missions Partnership Lead) so to be honest, I’ve considered my presence in Colombia as nice but not necessary. I love the people and value the relationships with those I have known for years and always look forward to seeing them again. But it wasn’t until this trip that I realized both of us being there was important to them and to us. Our time spent talking, eating, praying, and laughing together strengthened all of us.
Could we have done it over an online meeting? Yes and no. If there is no other choice, like it has been at times over the last two years, online is better than nothing. But there is no substitute for in-person connection. So much is communicated and related by physically being together that is impossible apart. Not only does our spirit connect but our souls do as well. We are designed for intimate, transparent connection not only with God but also with each other.
Together is when we build trust, not apart. Together we can face challenges, work through conflict, encourage, heal, restore, nurture, and do all of the life and relationships of a Kingdom Family. And it is a family we are born into and designed to be a part of. Without being present there will be a failure to thrive. Without being present we would not have experienced the many divine moments with persons who will be forever transformed because we were together. We have been transformed because we were with our Colombian family.
Never underestimate or take for granted the importance and necessity of being present. It can change everything.