If my Uncle Jack was the one who encouraged me to travel as a child, it was Rev. Bob Wasner who challenged me to stop dreaming and go. He was a storyteller, a world traveler and guy who always saw the best in people; he adored me, and I him. He was passionate in his belief that we must travel in order to expand our lives and world view. Thus, in early 1997 he arranged a trip to Israel and Egypt for the fall of that year for our churches.
I was on the Regional Board with Bob and each meeting he would tell us stories of Israel, of the Nile, of the Bible and how those stories would all come alive when we actually were standing on holy ground. I wanted to go so bad I could taste it. But how could I? I was single and working in a very small ministry where people and funds were limited.
At our early spring meeting, he once again encouraged all the ministers to sign up and get our congregations to sign up too. As I sadly shook my head, he came up and over the table and said – “It is a yes or no question. If you commit, you will go!” Not sure if I was more surprised or scared, as Bob was not a small built man and his jester seemed to engulf the room with his presence, I said yes.
The power of my spoken word shook the very depth of my being. I went home and began to promote the trip with great zeal because now I was committed to the goal. And on November 3, 1997 I boarded a plane for foreign lands and my first of many adventures with Bob began.