I am in the almost-last-minute mode and want to let you know what Brian and I will be doing for next five weeks. On Thursday morning at 6:00am we will be on a flight heading out of our country. We have the opportunity to travel with seventeen college students, led by our son and daughter-in-law, to an asian country where we will participate in a linguistic/cultural exchange at a university there. Twenty local college-aged young people interested in English and American culture will join our students by attending classes and rooming together in the dorms. Afternoons will be spent sight seeing, eating, shopping, visiting their homes and much more which will provide opportunities to build friendships. Within these relationships, spiritual discussions can take place.
Joel and Rachel asked me to join them on this adventure so they will be free to lead, encourage and direct this large group. Of course I am eager for any opportunity to love on my grandchildren and to support our kids in their work, so I agreed to go and care for Lucy and Charles. While I'm with the children, Brian will add his experience to the group by interacting with students, building friendships and leading one of the morning lessons. His assignment is to teach about American geography. That same day, one of the local students will instruct about the geography of his/her country.
We are excited for the opportunity to serve in this way but also know the realities of travel, sleeping in beds that are not-our-own, unusual food and the foreign language barrier. We have gone on many trips similar to this but we feel this will be exceptionally challenging as well as extremely rewarding.
To minister alongside Joel and Rachel is a privilege and an unusual opportunity. We are blessed to have adult kids who want us to be with them! Being their best encouragers is our number one plan!
Sharing our faith is at the heart of this project so would you pray that God would guide, protect, encourage and delight us? Sharing the details of how God has been preparing me for this journey is material for a future blog. Just know that it has been amazing and I am more ready today, emotionally and spiritually, than I was even a month ago. It has been quite the ride!
While quietly talking about our faith, sharing stories about our families and life in America, we will also be respectful visitors eager to learn all we can about a new culture and what it means to live in this country.
Posting pictures and stories will have to wait until we return mid-August. In the meantime, please pray for us. Travel is extremely long requiring flights and a train ride until we finally reach the city where we will live for the following four weeks. The return trip will be just as long and exhausting but there will be an inspiring reward at the end - getting to sleep in our own beds!
Have a great summer and I'll get back to you as soon as I can when we return. Plan on stories of great adventure and God's incredible faithfulness.