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Great Travelers Have Great Stories to Tell

Acts 11:19a: "Now they which were scattered abroad upon the persecution that arose about Stephen traveled as far as Phenice, and Cyprus, and Antioch...."

Those who travel a lot usually have interesting experiences to talk about. That is no less true of animals that migrate. A commonly known example is the monarch butterfly. In the fall, monarchs from all over North America all head south to the same small patch of jungle in Mexico. Even more astonishing is that the generation that finds their traditional wintering spot has never been there before.

Scientists have recently discovered that another migrating creature has an even more interesting story to tell. Bar-tailed godwits, shorebirds with a wingspan of about twelve to sixteen inches, summer in Alaska. But they winter in New Zealand, over 7,000 miles away. As you mentally picture their route, you would be right to notice that there aren't many places to stop and rest between Alaska and New Zealand. Researchers outfitted seven female godwits with tracking devices to learn more about their migration. They found that the godwits traveled the distance nonstop, without rest or even food or water. That's the equivalent of a nonstop flight from London to Los Angeles plus 1,000 miles.

Godwits glorify God as Creator with their amazing migratory paths. As the first Christians scattered across the Roman Empire in fear after Stephen's martyrdom, they spread the wonder of God's love for us in the Gospel of salvation.

Prayer: Father, I thank You for the glory of Your creation, but I rejoice in the wonder of Your love and salvation. Amen.

Notes: Science News, 11-22-08, p. 14, Laura Sanders, "Nonstop godwit flights."

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