Here’s a picture of the beautiful church I was talking about in a post earlier this week. It’s absolutely amazing. This picture of Kyle and I with the tractor is the highlight of my week. Today I was really struggling with missing being out in the fields and being around tractors… and what do ya know, God blesses me with the smell of Ammonium Sulfate. We went to a fertilizer distributing plant on the Baltic port here in Klaipeda. We got off the bus and tears of joy started welling up in my eyes. I walked into the warehouse and there in front of me was a tractor and tons, literally thousands of tons of Ammonium Sulfate.The feeling that came over me could be likened to a child finding his long lost puppy. Really though, it was quite refreshing. Oh how I miss Ohio and my “corn poppin up in rows”. It is funny how much it lifted my spirits to be around those smells and sights.
So I decided today that I’m done being dehydrated everyday of my life in Europe. Wow. I don’t know how these people do it, they drink less liquid then a 4 yr old child catching rain drops with their mouth. I can’t do it. I’m sorry, I’m a greedy American water drinking glutton.
The Church in Europe. Where to start. I guess I didn’t have a clue really about the Church in Europe, I thought it was just like the United States. We’re staying in Western Lithuania and there is a beautiful church down the road that is absolutely massive. I mean I thought it was the Sistine Chapel or something right?… yaa to bad I’m a stupid American and that’s in Italy. Anyway the point is it’s the biggest most well put together building in the whole town of Klaipeda. But guess what.. It’s vacant! They don’t even use it. NO ONE meets there! What the..?
The Reason I’m getting all up in my feelings about this is because I went to church this morning here in Klaipeda. I thought without a shadow of doubt in my mind that we were going to go to that church. I was getting excited when we were driving up the road toward that magnificent building of a “church”, and then we passed it.
We soon arrived to our destination and got off the bus. I looked around for the church and couldn’t find it anywhere. All I saw was a teenager walking into an old hotel with a Nike sweatshirt on. Well one minute later I found myself walking through the same door as the teenager to go to church.
We were greeted by a friendly smile and sent upstairs. Not one, not two, but three flight of stairs and we were there. We made it to the attic of the building. I walked through the “doorway” (a small opening in the wall), and found about 40 people sitting there in their makeshift sanctuary. Our group alone being there this morning doubled the size of their church.
A funny thing happened. That place became more of a sanctuary than any other sanctuary I’ve ever been in my life. We started worshiping in Lithuanian and it almost brought tears to my eyes. These 40 people were meeting with their Lord and Savior. Nothing else mattered to them then to stand at the foot of the cross and cry out to Jesus. There wasn’t a nice piano or huge sound system… just a couple guitars, drums, and broken people praising the Lord.
The local missionary was speaking today. Wow he was something to look at. He was straight from Cali, he had hair to the middle of his back, a foot long goatee, and tattoo’s. He spoke in English and it was translated to Lithuanian which was nice for us so we could understand the service. But my oh my… this guy is bringing the word to these people. Wow he spoke with passion and zeal that only comes from a heart for the Lord. He’ll admit he doesn’t know why or how he is even over here but all he knows is we have to become less so God can become greater. Truly. Have we ever really thought about that concept? Fear. Worry. Does that come from wanting to guide our own lives and make our own decisions? I propose this to you:
If he truly becomes greater in our lives and we become less; then will he not lead us the way he wants us to go? You say “Travis I’m not worried I just don’t want to miss an opportunity God has for me.” I say bless your heart because that’s how I feel… but guess what if God truly becomes greater in your life and you become less that means he will fill you with his passion and love for what needs to happen in your life and/or he will put an opportunity for you to use that in your life. It truly isn’t complicated. Each day look to God and he’ll look to your future. Live one day at a time. Lord knows I can’t handle more.
This also falls into my next thought of the day. I’ve never taken a class about following. I’ve taken countless leadership classes.. and how to be a successful leader. But never following. I realized that I get so caught up in leading that I didn’t realize I’m missing the whole point. I need to submit to the Lord and to others and follow. Only then will I truly know how to lead. Love you all more than you know.
Well I made it to Copenhagen. Not without an extravaganza of course. Long story short I puked on myself. Yes you heard me right… good ol’ fashion upchuck. It went something like this:
I eat a huge meal and have an upset stomach, I’m offered stomach medicine but… of course I say “no thank you I’m really fine.”
Twenty minutes later we’re in the car filling up with gas and I realize that my stomach is turning like the Santa Maria on the Deadliest Catch. I think “Ah it’s just because I ate the most amazing pork tenderloin sandwich of my life, it’ll settle!”
I arrive at the airport and go through the process of them telling me “sir your bag is 13 pounds overweight you need to remove some items”… “sir your bag is still 5 pounds overweight you need to remove some items”…”sir your bag is still a pound overweight but since you’re a pathetic imbecile that wears big clothes and shoes that weigh a lot we’ll let it slide by…” gee thanks. Anyway I say all that to say somehow my stomach ache slipped my mind when I came into the airport and dealt with the sweet (oh so sweet) lady at the check-in counter. Oh and then I still didn’t notice it while I was getting cut off by a 60 yr old woman and her small family of ten in the security line.
Finally I get to my gate and meet up with my long lost classmates that I haven’t seen for two weeks… the teary eyed dramatic reunion eased the pain of the commotion in the pit of my stomach.
Soon after we boarded the plane and I was quickly star struck by my glorious middle seat and a small Chinese man that needs twenty feet of leg room behind me. If I ever dreamed before the trip that I would be able to slightly recline my chair, those dreams were quickly laid to rest by his loud clearing of the throat and accidental kicking of my seat when I would tilt it further than 1.63cm. (Yeah I’m in Europe now I have to try to switch to metric…)
So we take off and of course I’m in my glory when the touch screen in front of me comes on and I can watch any movie I want…if it is Sherlock Holmes. Anyway dinner is served shortly after and I’m heading towards the heavens… literally and figuratively.
The meal was actually very delectable but just as soon as I put the first bite of beef stew in my mouth I remembered “wow, I don’t feel well.” Of course the next thought was “ah I’m not going to get to eat for 6 hours I’ll just go ahead and eat it. It’ll settle…”
With all the strength left in my aching body I scooped up the last bite of cheese cake and almost didn’t keep it down. I quickly reclined my chair, got a very loud clearing of the throat and a swift kick to the back of the chair by an angry Chinese man, and fell asleep.
Thirty minutes later I woke up a HOT MESS. Wow I never had to puke so bad in my life… well that’s a lie… the 1 gallon milk challenge pre-gamed with cottage cheese was probably a little worse. I pushed Kyle Walker out of seat and sprinted to the bathroom.
Luckily it was empty so as I locked the door behind me a beautiful disaster started raining from my mouth. HOLY PUKE. Wow. I had no less than 5 sessions of spewing then realized I missed the toilet with half of it. I thought about ditching it and sneaking back to my seat but don’t worry Mom I didn’t. I stayed in the bathroom the next half an hour cleaning up the whole mess.
I got back to my seat and the Chinese man was sleeping. Justice. I laid my chair back as far as I could and passed out. Yes there was a weird aroma in the air but I was so tired I didn’t even care.
When I woke up I found out what the Aroma was…
(A picture of my pants soon to come)
Yup you got it… puke on my pants. I slept for six hours with puke on my pants. Let me tell you the people around me were thrilled to be in my presence. Anybody that knows me, also obviously knows that the puke is still on my pants as I write this during our layover in Copenhagen. Yeah, seriously it’s dry and it doesn’t smell anymore it’s not a big deal! I miss you all more than you can imagine all ready.
p.s. Just just left Eastern Lithuania to go to Western Lithuania. This country is amazing. I didn’t expect any of this… we stayed in an old monastery that was absolutely beautiful. We also went through a former KGB prison and it rocked my world. Wow. More to come later. I miss you all and love you so so much. Be blessed.