Wednesday, 29 July 2015

We're the travellers now

Things have been quiet on the blog lately, and if you haven’t been tracking with our Facebook page, you might even think we’ve been enjoying a lengthy holiday. On the contrary!

Yes, that red line represents us. We just drove across the United States of America.

All 7 of us, including 5 children aged 6 and under, in a large vehicle, from California to Pennsylvania, meeting with supporters of Pilgrim Hill new and old along the way, and now we are looping back to where we started.

Here's a glimpse of our trip, written to our supporters a week ago. (If you’d like to receive weekly updates like this direct to your inbox on the progress of Pilgrim Hill, please email thebaehrs[at]

July 19

Tomorrow will bring us to the end of our second week on the road. We are deep in the South, where the tea is sweet and cold, the swings are as big as beds, and our host this evening met my proffered handshake with “Honey, I’m a hugger”. 

I’m writing this in the big van (“Gertie”) on the perimeter road around Atlanta. We’re on the way back to our accommodation after another event put on by kind Christians whom we just met in a foreign city which is Stop #10 on our trip across America and back.

Today I was struck by something which may seem obvious to you. We’re the travellers now. We’re the ones relying on others to pursue hospitality and to love strangers and sojourners.

I’m thinking about how much small gestures of kindness fortify and comfort us as we are on the road. I’m thinking about how I want to hold on to this so I remember to make those gestures to travellers myself, to not grow weary in well-doing, to pursue hospitality without grumbling. 

So as you are reading this, I want to encourage you to do the same. Hospitality needn’t look the same for all of us. We’ve been richly nourished by hospitality of different flavours on this trip. I’ve been particularly touched by the unexpected ways that our hosts have sought to bless our road-weary children, whether it’s been by setting out colouring books or crafts, preparing special snacks, or inviting grandchildren to play with them. 

These glimpses of grace are nothing compared to the unmerited welcome that God gives us, yet they are little reminders that while we were strangers, God reconciled us to Him through His son. The sweet times of fellowship we have had with Christians all over America are possible because we share one table, with one incomparable host.