When a few of your heroes in your field desire to get together and you have the chance to hang out with them, you jump at the opportunity.
That is how I feel about Tim and Barbara Downs, and as well about Bob and Judi Hines. Tim and Barbara have spent decades in Africa, have planted scores of churches, have weathered civil wars, are seasoned in cross-cultural ministry and have just chosen to allow us to be their friends.
Bob and Judi Hines planted a church in Idaho, when it was not popular to be in the northwest and many thought it simply couldn't be done. They have chosen to finish their lives encouraging missionaries, raising needed funds selflessly, and encourage those working in difficult places. Bob is a great ministry coach - I learn incredible lessons from him.
We spent a few days in Trogir and Split, Croatia recently - just spending time with friends and forming strategies for upcoming events. Great memories. Refreshing to the soul. It is good to hang around people where you do not walk on egg shells, where you do not have to weigh your words carefully. These are the people that love others in spite of... And that is good for me to learn.