Erik and I just returned this week from an unbelievably wonderful 10 day trip to Seattle. It was LONG overdue to visit family and friends there as well as breathing some good Pacific Northwest fresh air and being outdoors as much as possible!
Beyond our vacation activities (including a Stateside 10 year reunion with Kristina’s high school classmates from CAJ!) we also had two opportunities to speak to groups of people about our plans for Ecuador. These people weren’t just any old strangers, however- in the first group we had a dinner party hosted by friends who are like family, attended by members of my parents’ sending church and our former home church as a family. There were people there who had been in youth group with my mom, who had kids in the preschool that my mom taught at, who attended my parents’ wedding, who babysat me when I was in diapers, and who welcomed my family into furnished homes on more than one occasion during our home assignments. Many of these friends were long time supporters of my parents, and some even came to visit us while we were in Japan! I have so many fond memories that include these folks that they probably don’t even realize what an impact they have made on my life. It was wonderful to introduce Erik to them, and to have the chance to speak briefly about our new adventure as a couple. I tried to express how much their legacy of support has meant to me, and I hope they felt our gratitude for their continued encouragement. I can’t forget to mention that our hosts even prepared a delicious Ecuadorian-inspired meal in our honor!
Our second opportunity to speak was on Sunday morning at “the Chapel by the Lake”, at Covenant Shores Retirement Community on Mercer Island. A close friend of ours is the chaplain there and graciously invited and presented us to share at the service. Once again, we were surrounded by folks who have been praying for us even since we were first born! Two couples who served as Covenant missionaries in Japan for decades were there, and I have fond memories of my young childhood involving them. In addition, there were people in this group who knew Erik’s father from his younger years and it was neat for them to make connections and tell some funny stories. Thankfully, my grandma, aunt and uncle were able to attend the service and it was great to have so many people that knew them who we could then meet and connect with. Our time of sharing went well, but I was reminded once again just how much relationships matter when it comes to telling our story. We are eager to share with anyone who will listen, but the more connections we can make, the more committed we feel to one another. How wonderful it was to be in a place with so many people who have spent their lives serving God, and to be a witness to their good and faithful work- all while asking for prayer and support from them as we attempt to do the same. I pray and hope that this time was mutually uplifting.
We are so grateful for the time we got to rest, relax, play, and be encouraged during our stay in Washington. God is good, and his faithfulness endures from generation to generation!