Planes, trains, buses, cabs, and various other forms of transport have finally delivered us to our destination of Voronezh, Russia. Because of the holiday, special problems had to be addressed, considered and sorted out. For example, the hotel would not be serving food on the 1st . Which meant we would have to purchase and prepare enough provision for our team of twenty-one. We are not talking a black-eyed pea and ham dinner either. There would also be no dinner on December 31, as the celebrations for the evening begin around 5:00 pm. Our scheduled lunch with the interpreters at 1:00 would have to last us until the next day, supplemented by the occasional banana, candy or cookie, not crushed in transport. At one point – when we were settling into the hotel, with unpacking and organizing looming around our 15 x 12 room, I just laid down on the bed and told my roommate, “I think I need a moment to clear … my head of…”

I stopped mid-sentence with a mind stuck between vocabularies and long-distance journeys, time zone changes and culture shock – I couldn’t locate a word. She filled in the blank space of silence for me.

“Yes, you need to clear your head of debris.”


What a perfect word! The “stuff” left over after storms, disasters, and human disorganization: the unnecessary remains that need to be removed. In plane crashes and explosions the “debris field” tells investigators what happened before “this” happened.

We carry around a lot of “debris” in the garage of our soul. We keep piling things in, allowing them to collect dust – continual moving, rearranging and fretting, failing to rid ourselves of the unnecessary.

Our night on the train gave us a few moments of gathered team prayer time. R closed quoting the verse in Hebrews chapter 12. I have always loved how The Message translates the verse:

“Do you know what this means – all these pioneers who blazed the way, all these veterans cheering us on? It means we’d better get on with it. Strip down, start running and never quit! No extra spiritual fat, no parasitic sins. Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished the race we’re in.”

I take it to mean – get rid of my “debris”! The things and thoughts that would slow me down and keep me from the task He has set before me.

With much going on in my personal and emotional life, I must cast my cares for the answers to Him, who cares so much for me. And be prepared to “enter in” to embrace the sadness and the sad, and be called the light and joy He has called me to be.

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