Over the years, my husband Brian Schlottmann and I, have been able to travel extensively, but it has always been in the context of missions, and/or Abante International. However, given recent events in my life, we decided to dedicate some time to ourselves away from work, the Abante team, and even family–to travel to a place where just the two of us could process my recent health challenges, and look towards the future with some sense of direction. We chose to go to the beautiful island of Malta for our much-needed getaway.
The island of Malta is in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea directly south of Italy and north of Libya. The island is 27 kilometres (17 mi) long and 14.5 kilometres (9 mi) wide, with a total area of 246 square kilometres (95 sq mi). The island is made up of many small towns, which together form one Larger Urban Zone with a population of 409,259. The landscape is characterised by low hills with terraced fields…Malta is the largest of the three major islands that constitute the Maltese archipelago. (Wikipedia) The main language is Maltese, which is like a mix of Italian and Arabic, although must people also speak British English. While we toured the island, we found out that Malta is known for being an ancient island, home of some of the oldest structures in the world, and a rich history. The main religion is Catholicism, and the culture is warm and friendly. I fell in love with the landscape, and the perfect Mediterranean climate (the average temperature is 20°C) immediately!
Our one week getaway was surprisingly economical, as far as vacations go. We flew from Germany through Ryan air (Tip: When traveling via plane in Europe, we’ve found Ryan Air to have the best deals). We were fortunate to find a good deal on our round trip flights for about $180-and yes, that includes both! We rented a beautiful, fully furnished, and privately owned apartment through Airbnb.com, for about $320. The location of our apartment was perfect. It was right in the center of St. Julian’s town, with our balcony overlooking the gorgeous St. Julian’s Bay. We cooked most of our meals because of my very strict post-surgery diet, but the Maltese people follow a Mediterranean diet, and so we enjoyed our meals in, and found great menu options while dining out. We noticed that Dining out was inexpensive, compared to buying fresh produce to cook at home. We rented a compact vehicle for about $130, and my husband, Brian managed to drive all over the island on the left side of the road, from the right side of the vehicle. Needless to say, it was a fun adventure!
We spend most of our time hiking and walking around the island. We had to lay low a couple of days because of all the walking, and my energy levels being extremely low at times. Nevertheless, the purpose of the trip was to rest and spend time alone together. We talked so much…even in our silence. We had very honest conversations about my coronary heart disease condition, and my less than favorable prognosis. We were very honest with each other about our fears, and expectations, about a future that looks very grey and unclear, as well as our resolve to fight through all of that, and trust God for a positive outcome. We love each other so much, this adversity has only served to strengthen our bond. Our time in Malta was special and memorable. I want to publicly thank my husband and my family for making that possible.
When King David was a young shepherd, he fought a lion, and a bear in order to protect his sheep. Later in life he had to face a Giant that was threatening the armies of Israel, and his people. Is interesting that the Bible makes no mention of David being afraid to face the giant. I heard someone say that because David had fought and conquered a lion and a bear in the past, he just had to rehearse what he had already done. That inspires me! I don’t have to face my present adversity with fear, because when I look back at my life, I have conquered so much adversity already…I just have to rehearse what I have already done!
I want to thank you all for being faithful to my blogposts, even though I have not been consistent with my postings. I also want to thank you for your prayers. I have learned valuable lessons through my new journey, and one of them is to be more quiet, and listen well. Currently, I am taking time to do just that; be still and listen carefully! God is good and faithful through it all. I believe I am facing my present circumstance with grace and dignity because I serve a great and loving God, who has helped me conquer in the past, and continues to give me the courage to fight today.
I am grateful for each day I am given, for each day is a gift.