We do both have a sense of adventure. We do enjoy very much seeing beautiful places; being immersed in the history of a place we've never been. But most of all, we love meeting people from other lands - getting to know them personally, learning about their culture, their way of life, not to mention their FOOD! Mike especially loves attempting to communicate in new languages. We feel connected to those we meet long after we return home.
We have been blessed to have been invited four times as U.S. delegates to International Conventions of Jehovah's Witnesses:
- 2006 was our first big international trip to the convention in Prague, Czech Republic, followed by sightseeing in Vienna, Austria, & a day cruise on the Danube.
- In 2009, we were invited to the Munich, Germany, convention. Before the convention, we toured Istanbul, Turkey, and the ruins of Ephesus. After the convention, we enjoyed seeing the sights of Germany especially the beautiful countryside.
- Four years later (2013), our longest journey to date took us all the way to South Africa! We enjoyed immensely the convention in Pretoria followed by a several days at a nature preserve going on safari near Kruger National Park and several days in Cape Town and surrounding areas.
- This year (2014) we were pleasantly surprised to be invited again - this time to Seoul, South Korea. Following a week in Seoul, we will spend a week in China! Definitely out of the comfort zone.
We also try to share our experiences with our family & friends back home. In addition to this website, we will attempt to put together a presentation after we get back. It's said great travel makes great story tellers. We sincerely hope our stories are enjoyable to read.
Although our intent is to encourage others, I know we are the ones that come away with the greatest gifts: more empathy, more understanding, a much broader world view, and a deeper bond of love with our international brotherhood. It is hard to put the experiences we have into words. But "life changing" pretty much sums it up!
~Ginny & Mike
Here is an excerpt from a welcome email we recently received from the Korea branch (before we left to Korea) that helps explain it:
In these "critical times hard to deal with", it is a wonderful blessing and gift from ”the happy God” that brothers and sisters from all over the world and from different languages and cultures can dwell together in unity and enjoy genuine peace and happiness. (1 Timothy 1:11)
Our dear brothers and sisters, please have a pleasant and safe journey, remembering that the brothers and sisters here in Korea are “night and day… longing to see you.” (2 Timothy 1:3, 4)
Here is a link to a 6 minute video showing highlights and interviews of international conventions in 2009:
Here is a link for a brief video for children about traveling to a convention: