I have never more fully understood the sensation of bittersweet until right now. A few weeks ago Joe and I got approved to attend a training in July that we had been praying we could attend for months. Getting to go to this training affects our timeline in moving to Greece in what feels like a big way, and means we will now spend 7 weeks in Europe this summer, and move out of our house in three weeks. This a huge praise, a huge relief, and a really unrelenting kick to the gut. This is the most “real” that our journey to Greece has felt thus far. There’s about a million things I could list out that feel bittersweet… but one recent weekend it was four little faces that I will treasure forever.
These precious humans I introduce to you now are children that have blessed me beyond words- when I am with them I experience joy from God. We met them here in Clarkston through a mutual friend. Our relationship started out with Joe tutoring their teenage aunt and from there grew to a joy filled friendship with their family. They had a bad week. A really bad week. And I have never felt more choked by our language and cultural barrier. When we lose loved ones in America, we bring food and flowers and send a card…. I have no idea what Central African’s do… and therefore felt helpless to love my friends. So, Joe and I did the only thing we could think of and offered to borrow their kids for the weekend. It was far and away one of the most joyful weekends of my life. I can’t put to words how much these precious children mean to me. It only comes in tears. And as I was laying, holding Joseph (2) as he took a nap and snored away, I questioned (as I do a dozen times a day), “What am I doing? Why would I leave this?” And in the same breath, his little snores were my answer. He made it. His family persevered and ran for their lives. They lived in a refugee camp (where two of the kids were born) and got resettled to Clarkston after a number of years. And I am SO glad. However, there are thousands and thousands and thousands of refugee children that may never know that kind of safety again. And that is not something that I can stand by and watch… and by the grace of God He has called us to go… so we are. It’s not because I don’t love my life here-my family, my friends, these children. I love my life. But the way God has called me and Joe has been unmistakable… so how could I stay? I have to think of all the children that instead of going to sleep being held by a someone that loves them in a big comfy bed, will fall asleep again on the floor of a tent in a refugee camp in Athens. I am not going to save the world, save Greece, or save a refugee child. But I like soccer. And I like tea. And I like naps. And you’d be amazed how much you can love someone with only that in common.
Enjoy theses pictures of my favorite people and pray over them. Praise God they are being raised by their mother and father to follow Christ, and pray they would each in their own time fall in love with Him. Pray for the children of our world that won’t have a safe place tonight.
Special thanks to Joshua for being the best big brother ever and letting us come visit him at the fire station. Once the kids realized there wasn’t going to be a fire when we got there, they loved it. 🙂