Five I have experienced myself....
1- Romania, Eastern Europe
Romania is a beautiful country. Food is good, yet bland, people are friendly and the countryside is amazing! After the fall of communism there was a flood of acceptance towards Christianity. Missionaries rushed in to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. Along with Christian missionaries came all other "missionaries" too, Jehovah Witnesses, Muslims, etc. The door is closing as fast as it opened as the Western world bombards the once innocent people of Romania. My heart loves Romania. I love the language. I love the people. I love what God is doing with His people there! Of all the places I have ministered, Romania is where my heart always longs to return.
2- Vienna, Austria
I was only in Austria for 17 hours. Oh, how I long to go back. We toured the city at midnight, seeing the 500 year-old churches, Austria night-life, the famous opera house and were drenched by a downpour. The city was amazing.
3- Amsterdam, Holland
I have been to Amsterdam several times to and from the other countries I have mentioned. It is a beautiful old city, but unique and strange. The houses are close together (or connected), the streets are crowded with little cars and bicycles are everywhere! There is a bicycle "garage" near the main train station that houses thousands of bikes! The motto of the city is "take a bike, leave a bike." You go out, pick up a bike, ride it to the place you need to go and leave it. If it is there when you come out, great, if not, go find another one. Hey, everyone always has transportation! Unlike any city I have ever visited, sin is visually all over. Every one smokes and many people are not smoking cigarettes. Inappropriate materials are everywhere. You can glance down a street and see in a couple of seconds if you want to walk down it! BUT as weird as the city is, when I returned to Amsterdam from Africa, it was familiar. I could get around. I knew I was not home, but because I have been there so many times, it was a comfort to place my feet on Holland soil. It was an odd feeling!
4- Tanzania, Africa
Africa is unbelievable! Everything you have pictured Africa being it is! From crowds of dark-skinned natives to grass huts, Africa is Africa! The days are hot and the evenings cool. Hot really is not the right word, the temperature is more like torture. I keep telling people that the moment I stepped out into the sun I felt like I was being cooked. The rays pierce through your skin! The dust, burning trash and humidity is enough to choke you. But the people... the people are wonderful. The believers are full of God-exalting faith. The children are adorable. The pastors are passionate. The widows are joyful. The orphans smiled. I cannot wait to return!
5- Banff, Canada
My first time to Banff I was a tourist. My second time to Banff I was a missionary on a tourist break! Stunning. Beautiful. I wish that we had been able to hike back into the woods farther. The water is the purest, bluest, greenest I have ever seen! The air is cool. The mountains are big! And the rangers are on horseback!
Five I Have Yet to Experience...
I have a burning desire to see India. I specifically want to visit with the Dalit people. There is a mystery surrounding India. Since I was a little girl I have wanted to go. I pray that God allows me to one day! The people of India are in bondage to pagan worship. Oh, how I want them to meet Jesus and be set free!
China is just China.
Australia is my dream vacation! I would love to do missions there, but this is where I would go to be 100% a tourist! I have heard it is beautiful! I want to see kangaroos too!
My Compassion International child is from Bolivia. I would love to go visit him one day.
Several people I know have either been to Thailand or are currently serving as missionaries there. I would love to go visit and see the place I have heard so much about.
So, where is one place you have been? What did you see, hear, taste, touch and smell? Where would you like to go if you could go anywhere?