This family “adopted” me over furlough and gave me a “home away from home” when I needed it on those long months of masters classes, Partnership Development, and seemingly closed doors. I got to watch their girls when their youngest was born, and take pictures in the hospital. They welcomed me into their lives, and stepped past any unforeseen barriers into mine in a way I very much needed. They celebrated the joys and mourned the hardships that came along the way. They celebrated my last masters class (of the semester) being finished and walked around – and around – the neighborhood with me as I processed my desires to teach missionary kids, to connect kids in America with those around the world, and to be married someday.
When I finally made it back to Tanzania, and they realized I no longer had access to an English-speaking church, they started worshipping with me over Skype most Sundays (after church for them, Sunday evenings for me) and praying over me over the miles. I could say, “things are going alright,” and they would say, “So by ‘alright’ you mean that you're not sick at the moment, but half the parents are... that the students are driving you a bit nuts as you come up on Christmas... that you're wishing for some cool rain to make it feel like the holidays... that things are hard but you are making it through?" Yep, pretty much. They read between the lines and got it.
|Screenshot of Skype Worship...|
So off we went. We got to spend time with their four girls and I got to remember again just how amazing SM is with kids. He played games with them non-stop! We also went hiking/bouldering one day and saw some of the beautiful countryside in a local state park. And I enjoyed not only being “Aunt Crystal” once again with girls that love me, and a sister to a couple who exemplify Christ beyond their knowledge to all those around them… but also loved spending time taking pictures of the adorable cuteness of their kids as long as they would let me (which, by the way, was a LOT!). Here are just a couple of the pictures I captured along our trip.