hittin' the road one more time
From a child, I always loved the music of Dallas Holm. I remember hearing it over the stereo in my parent’s pale yellow Ford Fairmont station wagon on many a 3-hour drive to Raleigh to visit my grandparents. If it wasn’t Dallas Holm, it was a cassette of Keith Green, 2nd Chapter of Acts, Scott Wesley Brown, or the Imperials. Those were different days, back when Christian music was actually ministry and not merchandise. Of course, Rise Again, I Saw the Lord, and the narrative album His Last Days are true classics, but a lesser known ballad holds a special place in my heart. As a child, I heard it. As an adult, I have lived it:
Hittin’ the road, one more time. Leaving the wife and the kids behind. I’d sure never do this for nobody but You . . . But You left heaven for me, hit the roads and the shores of Galilee. Gave yourself at Calvary. So I gotta go and tell ‘em what you’ve done for me.
Burger and fries, motel rooms, short nights and long afternoons. I’d sure never do this for nobody but You . . . But You left heaven for me, hit the roads and the shores of Galilee. Gave yourself at Calvary. So I gotta go and tell ‘em what you’ve done for me.
Next week, I’ll be hitting the road one more time, leaving the wife and the kids behind. And of a truth, I wouldn’t do it for anyone but the Lord Jesus. Paul the Apostle had faithful travel companions—Sopater, Aristarchus, Secundus, Gaius of Derbe, Tychicus, Trophimus, and Timothy (Acts 20:4), and I’ll have one in Brother Eric as well. We covet your prayers as we head to Israel for a month of house calls to Israeli backpackers we met on the trails in South America and South Asia last year, those who heard the Gospel of Messiah and received a copy of the Hebrew Scriptures from our hands. Please pray that the Lord will open doors of opportunity with the families of these as He did when Peter went to the house of Cornelius in Acts 10.
As for Paul the Apostle, when he had in his mind to journey somewhere, he didn’t always take the easiest or shortest route, and the Lord often led him “out of the way.” From Derbe, the furthest stop on his first missionary journey, it would have been a relatively easy route over the Cilician Gate mountain pass down into Tarsus, his hometown, from where he and Barnabas could have quickly returned to Antioch to rehearse for the church “all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles” (Acts 14:27). Instead, they purposed to go right back through Lystra, Iconium, and Pisidian Antioch, all places they had been forced out, and took a long boat ride back to Syria. We aren’t in the habit of taking direct routes either, and believe it or not, Eric and I will be traveling on a roundtrip to Israel from Nova Scotia, of all places. It’s a long story, but we aim to do a shopping mall circuit to distribute Hebrew Bibles to Israelis working kiosks, and we have seen some success with this in larger Canadian cities. We will also be doing a little street preaching, visiting and encouraging Christian brethren, and laboring to muster for this summer’s Team Yeshua. Again, the prayers of the Body of Christ are coveted.
Please pray for my wife and children and Eric’s pregnant wife who will remain back in North Carolina. We simply don’t have the funds to bring them along for the long duration, and my kids are busy this time of year with homeschool assignments ahead of another summer in Peru. Mindy Trent is now in her second trimester, and I know she and Eric are greatly looking forward to being what the world despises: godly parents.
I am excited about some of the things coming together in Israel. Back in 2016, Jamie and I met some Swedish believers living in Israel who have a heart for reaching the youth there. The brother and I had a passing conversation about how great it would be to use a martial arts demonstration to gather people to hear about the Messiah. Of course, I didn’t think something like this would ever really happen, and I was wrong. This time, I will have one of my very talented black belts with me, and Eric and I are now slated to conduct two public Aikido demonstrations on March 15th and 16th, one in a town square, and another at a popular beach location. This will prove a great bridge to the Gospel and will certainly lead to the distribution of the Hebrew Scriptures (just as it did for us in a Jewish Rest Home in Cape Town, South Africa back in 2014). We will also be visiting some Jewish believers in the Land and connecting with folks who have similar works with Israeli backpackers right there in-country. It will be a busy and fruitful time.
Our flight leaves from Halifax, Nova Scotia on February 27th, and, Lord willing, we hit the road from here on the 18th.
Israel was real expensive the last time Jamie and I went back in 2016, and it’s even more so now, one of the most expensive places on earth. We will need to rent a car for the duration of our time there and tighten our belts a bit because eating out every day won’t be an option. We have gotten by on the Yellow Gas Stations, Cofix, and Cafe Cafe before, so we plan to do it again. Sadly, Cofix used to be 5 shekels for everything on the cafe menu, great coffee, sandwiches, and soup. Now, it has gone up to 6 shekels! Please pray that the Lord makes provision for high costs associated with tramping around Israel for the Word of God and the Testimony of Messiah. He has already provided some open doors for reasonable lodging in both Jerusalem and Netanya.
We are also still looking for volunteers for next summer's Team Yeshua in Huaraz, Peru. We are committed to the work the Lord has called us to with regard to the Israeli backpackers along the Hummus Trails of South Asia and South America; and using volunteers during the summer is one of the best aways to accomplish the work. Frankly, we NEED help. If you know of any spiritually-grounded and mature young people (roughly 18-25 years old) who might be interested in giving a summer to the Lord for a genuine MISSIONS trip, please have them contact us as soon as possible. So far, two have applied, but we need three to five more.
Just yesterday, Eric popped into our local mall here in Hickory. He found a new Israeli working there at the Dead Sea Products kiosk. Please pray for Yaniv. He proved to be a really cool guy open to hearing about the Gospel. Eric offered him a New Testament, only to discover that he already had a complete Bible. Unusual, but great. Eric gave him a Hebrew Trekker Tract and challenged him to read it, check it with the Scriptures, and see what is very plainly written concerning Yeshua Ha’Messiach. He said he would.
As for that old song that hits close to home, I was truly encouraged to read some things Dallas Holm recently had to say:
“I became a Christian in 1965 and my life was radically and eternally transformed. My music became the means whereby I could express the dynamics of that transformation and share the reality of Christ with others.”
“If I reached the whole world but lost my own family, I’d consider myself a failure. Early on, I set a priority system that put God first, family second and ministry third. If I’m not the husband and father I need to be in my own home, I have no right to proclaim truths of the Kingdom to others.”
“It’s been a remarkable journey, yet is hasn’t all been easy. When people hear my music or see me on TV or in concert, they don’t realize those are just moments in a life. I’ve had struggles, heartaches, and disappointments just like everyone else. Linda has fought an ongoing 28-year battle surviving cancer. But Christ remains preeminent in all things.”
AMEN . . . But You left heaven for me, hit the roads and the shores of Galilee. Gave yourself at Calvary. So I gotta go and tell ‘em what you’ve done for me.
Jesse Boyd, Colporter