Riding Out of Córdoba
He was riding out of town on a mule: a broken man who had staked everything on a dream. Having spent the past seven years seeking investors for his bold plan he had only managed to secure about half of the necessary finances. He had traveled from one court to the next, making his appeal before kings and queens. Now it seemed Opportunity would have to be tossed aside and buried in the dust of Complacency.
But then he heard it: the sound of galloping hooves. Turning around, he was shocked to see a member of the royal guard chasing after him. “You are to return to the palace at once!” the man ordered. “Queen Isabella has changed her mind!”
Christopher Columbus is an inspiration to me. While I don’t agree with everything he did or stood for, I admire his tenacity. His desire for discovery was matched only by his perseverance in the face of discouragement. What would have happened if he had given up trying to find funding for his voyage?
In some ways, we can identify with Columbus. It has been almost seven years now since we took that first step in pursuing full-time overseas ministry. Seven years since we began preparations to cross over to "the far side of the sea." We have come a long way: we spent 9 months in Spain, learning the language and culture, and we now have a little over half of the monthly support needed to return there and to begin our roles at Evangelical Christian Academy. But we’re not there yet. We’re still short on partners: people who will invest in our ministry through prayer, through encouragement, and through giving financially.
We believe God has uniquely gifted us to minister as house parents to boarding students. I am also hoping to help meet the ever increasing demand for ESL teachers at the school. Through us, our partners will not only impact the lives of students, they will also share in the work of other missionaries who - because of the school - are able to stay on the field in Spain and beyond!
Seven years it took Columbus to gain enough support to furnish three ships for a voyage across uncharted waters. Undoubtedly he learned perseverance during those seven years. The lesson served him well. Over two months into the journey, with his sailors on the point of mutiny, Columbus finally realized his dream as a sailor awakened the crew at 2 o'clock in the morning with the joyful news of land sighted. It was Friday, the 12th of October, 1492.
The words "Plus Ultra" appear on the coat of arms of the Spanish flag. The words are wrapped around the Pillars of Hercules (the Rock of Gibraltar and North Africa). The old coat of arms used to read "Non Plus Ultra" No More Beyond. Hundreds of years ago it was believed that there was nothing beyond this gate. Sailors dared not venture far from it. Columbus' voyage proved that there was indeed more beyond: Plus Ultra!