19 April 2010

Christian Men's Meeting in Aachen, Belgium

These pictures are only a portion of the pics I took at the meeting this weekend. No commentary is necessary they all speak for themselves. Keynote speaker Paul Louis Cole of Christian Men's Network was a real blessing to all of us.

Enjoy the pictures and the fact that God is moving among these men of all ages to become strong men of God.

Travel Update
Just got word from my Finnish contact that the Helsinki airport will remain closed for another 24 hours, (8:00pm / 20:00 Tuesday). By faith, I'm packing and getting ready to minister in Helsinki this weekend.

The clock is moving but the volcanic dust is apparently not....

Rev. Lawrence Blakeslee

18 April 2010

No Flying = No Travel

As you have seen on the new everywhere, there is the complete shutdown of air travel in Europe. It's been four days now that not a flight has left the ground in Central and Northern Europe and the UK.

I arrived back in Germany from the U.S. on Wednesday, 7 April and was glad I got here before the volcano eruption in Iceland. The problem now is that as of today, Sunday evening, they have no idea when the airlines will again be allowed to fly again.

KLM, British Air and other airlines are asking that the airspace over most of Europe be opened again by the various governments. These same airlines are also asking the governments to prove that the real threat to flight and aircraft still continues. This should be pretty interesting to see how this gets resolves.

The problem came close to home this weekend. Today, I just returned from the first of a series of Christian Men's Network meetings. This meeting was held at a church in Aachen, Belgium. Paul Louis Cole, of Christian Men's Network was the guest speaker. He and his wife Judi arrived the day before the shutdown.

This afternoon the Cole's were supposed to fly out to Budapest, Hungry for the next series of meetings. No one is flying, the trains are completely booked, and car rentals are all but completely sold out. While I was in Aachen this morning, I got a phone call asking if I would co-drive them the 11 hours from Aachen to Budapest. It would have a been a quick turn around literally dropping them off, getting some sleep and returning so I could make it back to Bonn to fly out on Thursday to meet them in Helsinki.

As it turned out two other men were found who had more time available to do the drive so that released me from the marathon drive. Although there was a tinge of regret, it could have been an interesting "road trip" in some areas that I've not gone before.

The no-fly shutdown is now hitting close to home. I'm supposed to fly out Thursday to Helsinki, Finland to minister with Paul Cole. No one has an idea if anyone is flying any where and when. The three days of Helsinki meetings might get canceled.

For the Cole's it would be a pretty hard drive from Budapest to Helsinki. The highways on the way there are lacking through the former Soviet Union.

If I can't fly to Helsinki, my next flight was to depart Helsinki on Monday, 26 April for a major church planting conference in Baton Rouge, Louisiana but that might not be made either.

Mind you, I am not complaining. I am "stuck" at home not like literally thousands of people in air terminals just trying to move on to their destination.

By the way, the CMN meeting at Lighthouse Church in Aachen was really terrific. We had a nice turn out with a good mix of ages at the meetings. I met some incredible men at this meeting.

Be in agreement that "the cloud" will move on and allow safe air travel very soon.

Rev. Lawrence Blakeslee
Missionary to Europe & Asia