Message From the President
Recently, I began reading a book called Travel in the Ancient World, by Lionel Casson (Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994 reprint). In his book, Mr. Casson describes travel in the Mediterranean world with a focus on the era around the coming of Christ and the missionary journeys of the Apostle Paul. Travel around the Mediterranean world flourished during the time of Christ and of Paul. Travel peaked during this time as government couriers, mailmen, tourists, businessmen, families, and those seeking medical attention traveled quite frequently. They traveled on boats from Rome to Alexandria, on carts, chariots, or wagons pulled by oxen or horses, or simply walked. They traveled up to 50 miles a day. Roman roads were famous during these times as roads and bridges were built around the empire. The Roman Road system eventually deteriorated and were not surpassed until the 20th century. Tourists traveled to attend drama performances in Athens and to see the Isthmian games in Corinth. They traveled to see the Pyramids in Egypt. Casson explained,
And so, the first two centuries of the Christian Era were halcyon days for a traveler. He could make his way from the shores of the Euphrates to the border between England and Scotland without crossing a foreign frontier, always within the bounds of one government’s jurisdiction. A purseful of Roman coins was the only kind of cash he had to carry; they were accepted or could be changed everywhere. He could sail through any waters without fear of pirates, thanks to the emperor’s patrol squadrons. A planned network of good roads gave him access to all major centres, and the through routes were policed well enough for him to ride them with relatively little fear of bandits. He needed only two languages: Greek would take him from Mesopotamia to Yugoslavia, Latin from Yugoslavia to Britain. Wherever he went, he was the under the protective umbrella of a well-organized, efficient legal system. If he was a Roman citizen and got into trouble, he could, as St Paul did, insist upon trial at Rome. If he was not a citizen, Rome permitted him to be tried under his own native law, and there were special courts to handle cases where different native codes were involved.
From this, we see that God used the Roman government to prepare the way for missionaries like the Apostle Paul to proclaim the gospel throughout the major cities of the empire. People then and now are not much different. The desire to see the world, experience entertainment, seek medical care, and see the wonders of the world are desires common to mankind. The biggest difference then and now is the amount of cargo people took with them. Then, there was an entourage of beasts and wagons carrying food and belongings, even sometimes the kitchen sink. Then again, not much has changed today, except travel is much faster as planes crisscross the globe.
Below you will find a description of my travels since I left home on February 5. We see the Lord working in every country. Churches are being established, pastors and leaders are being trained, and the gospel is advancing throughout the world. We live in exciting days and we are witnessing a countdown to the end. Let’s work side by side for the advance of the gospel so that God is worshipped and glorified as our Creator and Savior!
Dr. David Nelson, President
Thank you for praying and for giving! Through your prayers and the help of the Holy Spirit (Phil. 1:19), the CCI ministry is growing and is effectively equipping God’s servants to make a difference in their communities for the glory of God.