Most of my travels require little explanation. Supporting church plants in the 11 countries with an LAC missionary presence by facilitating the sending of short-term teams and volunteers makes me a bit of a globetrotter. But Omaha, NE?

 Last Wednesday, I flew to Omaha for the September 2019 Friends of Jamaica partnership meeting (read: FORO). While it's admittedly difficult to get a flair for what's happening in Jamaica in the Cornhusker State, it's equally difficult for many members of the circle to swing a trip to Kingston. So, given that a significant number of them are scattered throughout Iowa and Nebraska, we came to them. (It's not altogether unheard of for FOROs to alternate between stateside and in-country; the Puerto Rico FORO is meeting at the FL-GA District office next week.)

The saints at Zion Lutheran Church were our gracious hosts. 

Thanks be to God that Abas Ite's health is on the upswing, such that Rev. Obot Ite was able to make the trip. 

At most, 12 of us were gathered around the table, er, tables. 

Rev. Ite and Rev. Charles St-Onge, Area Facilitator for the Caribbean.

This trip was significant in that it was the first time I'd been in the US...outside the Miami almost 14 months. I went to Wal-Mart and a rodeo...can't get much more American than that. 

The meeting went better than could be expected. Jamaica's role in the region - with its corresponding support structure - was emphasized throughout, and between Ministry Centre renovations and a brand new Lutheran school, the good news just kept on coming. I had at least two short-term team inquiries and am confident that a handful of partners will sacrifice to join us in Kingston in April. 

My pilgrimage to the US ended with the best job in the world getting even better. Although neither of us was supposed to be flying to Santiago on Sunday night, I wound up sitting next to Courtney Zalmanoff - in an exit row, no less - from MIA to STI. Courtney is the newest member of the regional team and will report to me as the Assistant Volunteer Coordinator. Her path is uncannily similar to mine, and I'm humbled at the chance to help mentor such a poised, capable young lady. 

Until next time, blessings! (And GO CARDINALS! NLDS game 1 is underway in Atlanta as we speak; I'm wearing my red!)