Twenty five years ago I started on a journey that led this Texas boy across an ocean into a land which I hardly even heard of. Since that first trip in February 1994, I have lived in 3 former Soviet countries, traveled throughout much of Europe and eaten foods I didn’t know existed!

For the next few days, allow me to share some thoughts from my journal and my memory of those days leading up to moving to Lugansk, Ukraine.

This note is captured from my journal and sums up some of the emotions I was feeling at the time. In many ways I was quite unsure what was going on in my life at the time.

In early January 1994, Clay Crosse released “I surrender all.” It was an important message the Lord used in my life in January and February 1994.

The second verse included these words:

So I lay aside these trophies 
to pursue a higher crown
And should You choose somehow 
to use the life I willingly lay down
I surrender all the triumph for 
it’s only by Your grace
I relinquish all the glory, 
I surrender all the praise

My desire at that moment was to something that was so unlike me. I’m sure many of the people around me wondered what was going on.

January 28, 1994 proved to be pivotal in preparing me for the journey.

That night I went to a Promise Keepers rally in downtown Wichita Falls with a number of guys from Camp Chapparal. Even though it was 25 years ago, I remember that night! I don’t remember who Paul Cole is (sorry!), but I remember the message he preached. He read from Judges 6:11-16. I remember how I sat with my Bible open to that passage, and as I read vs 14, it was as if the Lord blotted out every word on those 2 pages and all I could see was the word, GO! It proved to be a pivotal moment for me!

As I read this note from 1994, I realize how “green” I must have been at the time (and how often I used the word “awesome”)! Again, there is a reference to “I surrender all.” It was a big hit on Christian radio at the time.

This snippet from my journal sums up my feelings at the time. I was young (early 30s) and still had not experienced much life. I did feel inadequate and uncertain. However, the call the Lord had placed on my life was so clear, so certain.

Tomorrow the “journey” across The Atlantic begins…