Is it “safe” to serve overseas today?

We were stunned by the recent terrorist attack at Istanbul Ataturk Airport. It was in this very airport that our journey to Italy began two years ago (see photo above). We spent four hours in the international terminal watching people of all cultures, eating lunch, and buying duty free Toblerone bars for our kids. The halls were packed with travelers from all over the world. No doubt, on the day of the attack it was a similar scene.
There have been many amazing survivor stories, but one struck very close to home for us. One man told the story of leaving his wife to get a coffee while he went upstairs for a slice of pizza. As he heard gunfire, he ran back down to find his wife and came face-to-face with one of the attackers; both he and his injured wife survived. On our travel day, we had been in these exact locations, eating the exact same foods, but by God’s grace we had a very different experience than this couple.
In light of this, and other recent attacks in Europe, many people have asked us, “So, how do you feel about going to Italy now?”
Well, you can probably guess how we feel. But what’s important is what we do.
How must Jesus have felt as He began His own three-year journey? He packed what little possessions He had and said goodbye to His family. He joined up with men He had only just met and He went into strangers’ homes (most of them people that society deemed unworthy). He had the enemy whispering in corners and plotting His death as they watched His every move. But a desire for safety did not govern Jesus’ steps — the voice of God did. He had no fear and perfect peace.

( Billy’s thoughts share this article with mission leaders at your church. Read the rest of this story here.)

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