By Dr. Mark Hitchcock, Senior Pastor
The last 25 years have flown by. As most of you know, Cheryl and I celebrated our 25th anniversary at FBC last October. The outpouring of love and appreciation was very encouraging. As part of the commemoration, the elders kindly extended the opportunity for us to take a sabbatical from active ministry at the church. We decided the best time to take our sabbatical is this summer since we already had plans for ministry overseas.
Our plan is to depart on May 22 for Germany where I’ve been scheduled for the last year to speak at a Propheticon (prophecy conference) in Breckerfeld, Germany. We will be in Breckerfeld for several days. On June 9 our Journeys of Paul trip with Denton Bible Church and Dallas Theological Seminary will begin in Istanbul, Turkey. Rather than returning home after we’re finished in Breckerfeld and then heading back to Istanbul a few days later, Cheryl and I will stay in Europe for some touring and then meet up with the group in Istanbul.
While in Europe we plan to visit Prague (Czech Republic), Munich (Germany), Geneva (Switzerland) and Rome. I’m especially excited about seeing Rome, since this is the only major site of biblical significance I’ve not visited. After the time in Europe, we’ll fly to Istanbul, Turkey to meet our group. The Journeys of Paul tour will be fantastic. We’re sailing the Aegean on a chartered clipper ship. We’ll visit Philippi, Ephesus, Pergamum, Patmos, Mykonos, Athens and Corinth.
When we return back to Edmond from Athens, Cheryl and I plan to spend a couple of weeks at home. Then, we’ll head for one month to New Mexico where I plan to do a bunch reading and writing. My stack of books to read is growing!
During our absence, Jay Risner will be bringing a series from the Book of Titus, and we will have three guest speakers: Ray Pritchard (June 11), Dr. Abraham Kuruvilla (June 18), and our own Burge Troxel (July 16). You will be in good hands while we’re away. I will plan to be back in the pulpit August 14, Lord willing.
Cheryl and I are grateful to the elders and our church family for this blessing. It’s unexpected but greatly appreciated. Please pray for us while we’re away, and know that we will be lifting you up daily. But we’re not leaving until May 22, so we hope to see you this Sunday as we gather to worship our great God and open His precious Word.