In 1995 Kim and I took a missions trip to Catania, Sicily. I got to preach in an Italian church (through a translator) and we were able to minister with some old friends who were serving as missionaries. We got to eat delicious Italian food, tour the ancient sites, and bask in the beauty of the Mediterranean Sea. It is a tough job but somebody has to do it! But the trip was not all peaches and cream.
During our flight from New York to Rome our airline (Alitalia) went on strike. When we landed in Rome we could not get our luggage or make our connecting flight so we were stuck in the Rome airport for 13 hours. Kim just happened to be pregnant with Brooke at the time. We could not even find a chair to sit in so we either stood or sat on the floor. Finally we were able to make our connecting flight to Catania.
When we landed we met our contact who was an old college buddy of mine. He is a Cajun from Louisiana and is the very definition of crazy. He even looks Sicilian so he fit right in with the life in Italy. As we were coming out of the airport he pulled into the taxi lane to load our luggage. We found out quickly that was a no-no because a taxi driver pulled to within an inch of our vehicle and blew the horn and yelled at us in Italian the entire time. The police noticed. They had machine guns. After several tense moments we pulled away.
We also found out that a Mafia kingpin owned the house we were staying in. In fact our friend told us that a group of his armed henchmen broke into their house one night, searched it and left. They never said a word. Welcome to Italy!
We also found out that on of the delicious meals we ate was not exactly normal fare for Americans. We ate horsemeat! That’s right, Wilbur, Seattle Slew, and Secretariat rolled over in their graves. When Kim found out she was very upset. She was even scared that Brooke would have a mane when she was born! She did not, for the record, although she could run very fast. Not sure if that is related or not.
To top it all off Kim had a problem with her pregnancy and had to go to the hospital in Catania while we were there. She ended up being fine but it was quite a scary ordeal.
I learned something about hope on that trip. Your hope is only as good as what it is rooted in. We put our hope in an airline and they let us down. We put our hope in a friend and wow! Just wow!
Your hope is only as good as what it is rooted in. That is why as a Christian you should always be confident and filled with hope because our hope is not in money, or performance, or relationships, or corporations. Our hope is in Jesus! The writer of Hebrews wrote that we have this hope as an anchor of our soul. When our hope is in Jesus nothing can overcome us or overwhelm us! He is the anchor of our soul that holds us tight during the storm.