The Ever Available Evans Family

Christian Cruise

My husband and I have been followers of Tony and Lois Evans for years. We have close friends in Dallas who attend his church. We are regular listeners to his radio program and have read a number of his books—not to mention Priscilla Shirer’s (Tony & Lois’ daughter) Bible studies, which I love.

So when we saw the opportunity to take a Christian cruise to Alaska (something we’ve always dreamed of) led by Dr. Evans, we blocked out this week on our summer calendar immediately. What an amazing time we’ve had! The scenery, of course, has been gorgeous. Even the most beautiful photos we’d seen of Glacier Bay don’t prepare you for how the sunlight changes everything when it peeks through the clouds. Such deep, intense colors! And the “wildness” here—mountains, forests, rivers, bears—is breathtaking. This cruise has been worthwhile for the scenery alone, as evidenced by the SD card I’ve already filled up with photos. Glad we brought that extra card!

But as awe-inspiring as Alaska is, I’ve been even more impressed by the Evans family themselves. I’m not sure what I expected, but I have been absolutely stunned that we just keep encountering Dr. Evans, Mrs. Evans, Anthony Evans Jr., Priscilla, and the rest of their family everywhere. They are always kind, always gracious, always friendly and available. It never fails.

You’re as likely to see Anthony leading worship one night and then run into him at the breakfast buffet the next morning. In both settings, his genuine smile and joy are evident. As a pastor’s wife myself, I enjoyed hearing Mrs. Evans share about her experiences—and enjoyed even more the individual time she gave me afterward to discuss our lives and ministries.

I’m told the MS Westerdam is a smaller ship (though it still seems enormous to us), but that doesn’t lessen my surprise at how accessible and generous the Evans family have been with their time, and how frequently we keep running into them.

In a way, it reminds me of the presence of God. I don’t know about you, but I tend to slip into thinking of God as a distant, powerful Creator. Which means I am occasionally surprised when He shows up in my life in intimate, personal ways. These are the times when He reminds me that He’s present everywhere, in every situation, in every moment. At church, at work, at the gym, even waiting in line for ice cream. I keep thinking of Psalm 139:7-8. “Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.”

Even if I sail all the way to Alaska, You are there.

Don’t misunderstand me: I’m not saying the Evans family is like God. Dr. Evans wouldn’t be comfortable with that at all! But just like we continue to happen upon the Evans family aboard this ship, we keep getting glimpse after glimpse of God’s presence. The Spirit of God surrounds us—constantly speaking, teaching, and encouraging. And as wise and hospitable as Dr. and Mrs. Evans seem to be, they’d be the first to say they don’t hold a candle to the Creator of these magnificent Alaskan views.

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