Several times a year a big crate arrives at the ship bearing packages from around the world. This time there was several birthday packages for K. We got to "see" her open some of her gifts via email today all the way from Las Palmas, Spain - Amazing!
It was as described in the many missionary biographies that we have read except C and I weren't wearing dark glasses to hide our tears as we said goodbye to K at the gate this afternoon. Why is it so hard to say goodbye? As we said on her quilt that my sister made for her:
On your birth announcement we wrote the verses from Acts 17:
The God who made the world and everything in it is the Lord of heaven and earth and does not live in temples built by hands. And
he is not served by human hands, as if he needed anything, because he
himself gives all men life and breath and everything else. From
one man he made every nation of men, that they should inhabit the whole
earth; and he determined the times set for them and the exact places
where they should live. God did this so that men would seek him and perhaps reach out for him and find him, though he is not far from each one of us. 'For in him we live and move and have our being.'
If we didn't believe this we could not let you go!
The Morning Saga:
She began her missionary training in adaptation Sunday morning with the corrosion of our hot water heater. Without complaining she washed her hair in icy cold water so she would look presentable to stand before the church. This morning as she got ready to leave she adapted from frigid water to no water as the plumber fixed the water heater and attended to many of our plumbing needs about the house. He was able to get the water heater connected about one hour before she was to leave the house. K quickly threw in a load of clothes (which she left behind in the dryer) and eventually made her way to a coolish shower. If everything went smoothly would it really be a true reflection of life in our household?
We did not anticipate 24 years ago we would be saying goodbye to our daughter today. Though that event has overshadowed our anniversary celebration, we are off to celebrate tonight the union that brought forth such a beautiful daughter (and seven other amazing kids).
It started with worship which included the elders praying for K.
*** The elders of our church get ready to pray for K. The one K is smiling at is the one who staffs the ships and put the idea in K's head and has supported her through the whole application/acceptance process.
We were blessed with some coupons to make a fun international send off dinner with our whole family possible at the Asian Chef. Our chef was swift with the spatula and enjoyable to watch.
A- was mesmerized.
A pile of meat for the 10 of us.
M enjoyed eating rice with chopsticks grain by grain.
What a pleasant thing to have a snow day. L, M & A explored the rare precipitation while I made cranberry bread (on my to do list since mid-December). The snow report was that a snowman could not be made and it was cold! They were soon inside for warmth and hours of dress-up play.
The chain link is growing shorter by the day. Only 3 links left! Today she recruited a friend to organize a list of her 118 (!) prayer and financial supporters. She put a few more things into the suitcase and we all enjoyed dinner talking with a couple who lived on the ship. They imparted much need reassurance and information to fuel K's excitement to get there.
7:45 a.m. The house was dark and quiet this morning when my alarm went off. We used C being out of town with J and D being sick as an excuse to sleep in. I calculated the least amount of time we could get away with and still get M to school on time.
Quietly I slipped out of bed so as not to wake A and D who had taken up residency in my bed during the night and approached M in his bed. He was lying face down on his pillow. When I whispered his name he cheerfully answered, "Hi!" Surprised I tried to lift him from bed only to be met with screeches of pain. "What's wrong?" "I'm stuck to my pillow with my silly putty!" he wailed. So much for my calculations. I did not add in the time needed to unstick him from the pillow or to cut out a egg sized wad of silly putty from his hair or to find the shoes (found in the basement after a hunt) or to find a winter coat (never uncovered). Once all that was done we sheepishly made our way into his classroom. He kept his bald patch under his hoodie all day, thanks to a gracious teacher who had compassion on his plight.
9:30 a.m. The packing began. The Germany clothing began to fill suitcase #1. Only four more days left till K's departure!
11 a.m. D comes among the land of the living for a piece of toast. Weak he sits in the kitchen contentedly watching all the activity.
2 p.m. The hair cutting began. While K drove off to a salon for her new do, M reluctantly slid onto a stool for his perceived torture. A- though liked what she saw and wanted to be next.
*** Her face is not sad about the cut but rather that I didn't let her keep the cuttings for a beard.
4 p.m. Snow began falling bringing delight to all us snow deprived Southerners.
5 p.m. It's french toast for dinner and hopefully an early bedtime for all.