October first is a day I anticipate with pleasure. With autumn as my favorite season and October as the most colorful month of this season, I find myself excited about the turning of the calendar on this day. But this day begins an October like no other. We will be away for the first two weeks of this beautiful month because tomorrow we will jump into our little red Prius and start a long 1200+ mile drive northeast to a city new to us.
Nineteen years ago we invited a student to live with us. She was a young sixteen-year-old, full of anticipation about what life in America might be like. Her country was very unlike ours and she hoped to learn and adapt to the new ways she might find here. Olah, from Ukraine, was a very intelligent girl with a darling accent, beautiful brown eyes and a spirit of adventure. Becoming acquainted, teaching, leading and growing to love her, we showed her the reality of what a Christian American family was like. She lived with our ups and downs, our good and our not so pretty, but she embraced us, grew to trust and care for us as well.
Several times we were blessed to go to her country on mission trips with SEND International so we were able to stay in her home and meet her husband, children and parents. Their mothers prepared fine Ukrainian food and welcomed us warmly into their lives. We intensely longed for the ability to speak Ukrainian or Russian so we could express to these dear ones how much we cared for their daughter and family and how privileged we felt to know them.
Now Olah and her family have moved to Quebec City, Canada, to start a whole new life.
Tomorrow we start our journey to be the first guests this little family will welcome into their home. We go because we can now DRIVE to visit them! We go because our hearts are with them. They are in a new country with new jobs and a new language (French) with unfamiliar customs, foods and clothing. With families far away they long for familiar faces who will encourage them as they begin this amazing, life-changing adventure.
We feel honored, excited, ready and delighted to connect with them. In just two days we will be hugging, crying, laughing and creating new memories.
No wonder I have looked forward to this month! It promises to be filled with warmth, friendship, adventure and celebration. What's not to love about that?