Last week, as my flight from Amsterdam touched down in Tbilisi I closed the cover of Gullible’s Travels. Intrigued by the title, compelled by the subject-matter, but even more drawn in by my recent conversation with the author, I had decided to read this book on my way back ‘home’ to Georgia #thecountrynotthestate.
Gullible’s Travels is the story of Nick and Sue Long who are missionaries currently living in Austria. Before that, they were missionaries serving for almost three decades in Germany. The years in between Germany and Austria were years of wilderness-wanderings, or perhaps better described as years of the crawling, consuming, and chewing locust (Joel 1-2).
Gullible’s Travels is the painfully raw, yet bold account of a man whom God saved and used to share His light and love in the nation of Germany, but who also was led down a rabbit hole of medically-induced drug addiction. A before-Christ life marked with drug use plus doctor-prescribed opioid concoctions used to treat severe pain do not result in anything good. Nick’s pain treatment would result in a years-long nightmare of addiction, deceit, danger, lost time and memories, and almost the loss of his marriage.
Gullible’s Travels is a well-written book with a warning. The biggest lie that any of us can believe is that we are immune to the tricks and deceits of the enemy. “A roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” is not just metaphor. Satan has a plan for your life–that is for your downfall, your destruction. Our pride will tell us that we are immune, our hypocrisy will tell us we are better, but if we remain ignorant of his devices then we will be bloody prey dangling from that wolf’s mouth.
Nick Long’s story is personal, moving, and redemptive. In light of other pastors who have struggled (or are currently struggling) through similar battles, I highly encourage people to read Gullible’s Travels. In our day of massive opioid addictions and overdoses, the New Testament warnings of sorcery (pharmakeia) could not apply more. Pray for your pastors. Share with your friends. “The end of the world is coming soon. Therefore, be earnest and disciplined in your prayers. Most important of all, continue to show deep love for each other, for love covers a multitude of sins.” (I Peter 4:7-8 NLT)