Is travel self-indulgent?

This nomad says backpacking can have a purpose

Chinua Ford is a professional traveller. Touring the world for decades, living in all kinds of places with all kinds of people, Chinua has no plans to get a mortgage or fixed address.

But Chinua isn’t aimless, or any other word you can think of to describe someone who continually lives out of a backpack. This eye-catching and warm American is on a mission to help other travellers connect with the best guide and map Chinua has ever met.

“We need to really inject ourselves into that mix” – Chinua Ford

There is a special “openness” to people who are no longer bound by their own culture or daily life, says Chinua. “I think it is a shame that, as a secular person in Europe, [if] I want to find myself; I want to find truth – and I got out there… all I find are some yoga classes and vipassana [meditation] classes. That’s it,” explains Chinua, as an example of the gaps he has seen in the marketplace of meaning.

“We need to really inject ourselves into that mix,” states Chinua about Christians taking active steps to bond with the enormous, mobile community of global travellers.

Chinua recently attended a gathering in the Blue Mountains, NSW, organised by theRIVER – a worldwide network of Christians who approach their lifestyle as nomadic missionaries. While Christians and church organisations may travel across the planet to minister in a foreign village, town or city, Chinua and theRIVER collective have noticed how travelling with travellers is a mission field largely neglected.

The Bible’s high praise for travellers who speak the truth – “most of all, Jesus” is what inspires Chinua, and he is enthusiastic about following a similar path.



Some prayer points to help

Pray that the experiences of international travel will open people up to hearing the good news of Jesus, and that those they meet will be eager to share that news with them.