For the past 2 weeks, I have been blatantly absent from the blog world. My apologies for vanishing without warning. I had the incredible opportunity of leading a 4-man Air Force training team to Colombia to teach high angle rescue techniques to Colombian Air Force helicopter crews and para-rescue personnel. I was hoping to post daily about my experiences while I was there, but I quickly discovered that internet access was difficult to come by and I had to beg, borrow, and steal just to get a chance to check my email every few days. I was, however, still able to find time to do some writing throughout my adventure. These are the chronicles of my adventurous trip to Colombia…
Thomas text me the minute I got off the plane in Orlando. It was 955pm, and he planned to meet me at 10. When he sent me a text yesterday saying “see you at 10,” I thought he meant 10 tomorrow morning. Oops! It turned out to be a welcome surprise as he explained that he thought I was leaving in the morning at 6am instead of the reality of 6pm…
He gave my team and I a ride to our hotel rooms in downtown Orlando as we briefly recapped the last 2 years since we had seen each other. Seeing that we barely scratched the surface in catching up, I dropped my stuff in the room at the hotel and grabbed an overnight bag headed for his home in Cocoa, FL. He told me it was about 20 mins away… umm no. Maybe 1:20. Great opportunity to catch up though!
Thomas Hogan and I have been friends for quite a few years now. We met while we were both stationed at FE Warren AFB in Cheyenne, WY. As members of “theROUNDTABLE”, we led a group of young adults in facing their fears, finances, and faith as they transitioned from high school to adulthood. The group was called “theSHIFT”… more on that another time.
It was great reminiscing about theSHIFT and discussing our current dreams, victories, and struggles. Before heading back to the house, we stopped and took a walk around Cocoa Village in hopes of finding a late night pizza shop. No luck. So we headed back to his place and hung out late into the night… watching youtube videos and talking about changing the world.
I woke up this morning when a 9-yr-old pulled back the sheets from my head expecting to see her big brother. Surprise! You should have seen the look on her face!
I ended up staying the night at the Hogan’s and eating breakfast with their amazing family (pic to the right)! They took me to their church and I was blessed to hear their pastor preach about raising up the next generation of Christ-Followers – so good! Unfortunately, Thomas and I had to leave early so I could check out of the hotel room that was completely unused.
With the afternoon to spare, we set out to find a place to grab some food and talk. We settled on a Farmer’s Market in downtown Orlando… perfect place to get the creative juices flowing. Great food, great music, and fantastic conversation. The seeds for dozens of blog posts were planted in my mind. Here are a few of the topics that intrigued me:
- all-volunteer ministry
- fitness isn’t just for health, it’s asserting control over the body
- what it takes to build a movement
- slam poetry
- Christian hip-hop
- how to build Community
- young adult ministry
- the importance of scholarship
- prayer vs prophecy
- is church being done well?
- Watchman Nee - The Spiritual Man
- parenting and rich people
- our role in the supernatural
Clearly, we had some incredible conversations. Awesome to connect with old friends!
He dropped me off at the airport and our flight to Colombia was finally under way. I caught up on some writing on the plane and was intrigued to listen to the transformation from English to Espanol in the aisles of the 747 as we crossed the Gulf of Mexico and entered South American airspace.
We made it through customs uneventfully, and our contact in Colombia met up with us at the airport right on schedule. Our transportation was a government van, and we drove the 15 miles across Bogota to our hotel at the Andino Royal. The service at the hotel was fantastic and all of their staff spoke English as a bonus. I would highly recommend it if you’re ever in Bogota. From what I could see during our commute in the dark, Bogota seemed just like an American city, a concrete jungle of skyscrapers, highways and graffiti.
I’m looking forward to our in-brief at the Embassy tomorrow morning and then our flight to Palanquero AB. Let’s get this party started!
These chronicles are going to be intertwined with my normal blog posts for the next couple weeks. Hope you enjoy the tale!
First Image: jonr86 via Creative Commons
2nd Image: Angy Hogan