1) Don't dive into a deep conversation about the theology of suffering at 6:30 am on the way to an airport you've only been to twice if you don't want to miss you turn, add an hour to your trip and arrive less than an hour before take-off with a car for long-term parking and 2 car-seats.
3) Don't think that the vegan ways of the day are popular in the Wheat State. You will eat meat. A lot of it. And you will like it. Because well...it's like nothin' else GOOD.
4) Don't think that a rural town means friends are few and far between. It might feel small and quiet, but friends gather in a big, boisterous way. NorthRidge seemed to be the hub and common-ground of the weekend, but it was downright thrilling to meet so many people who are genuinely anxious to do and be whatever He asks. WhatEVER. WhereEVER. WhenEVER.
5) Our support system isn't just functional--in the sense that it just helps us get things done in His kingdom-- but it's relational...a community that cares about us, with or without Haiti, with or without success, with or without Emmaus. Praise the Lord!
6) Spending time with people whose blogs we read is even better than reading their blogs! sidenote: I OH-SO-GREATLY wish that everyone had a blog! I know you know everything about us. But I know NOTHING about you! I know my sister says they are only for the "older" generations like Matt and I and upward. But I still really do.
7) Having people who rather consistently appear in the lives of our girls--stateside or overseas--is SO important, and such a joy to behold.
8) There are a lot of people out there whom we've never met (many until this weekend!) who read our blog and follow and PRAY.
9) Lily cares deeply about being involved with other children her age the RIGHT way. She wants to watch what they're doing here in America, make sure she can do it the same as everyone else, and then jump in there tentatively, happy as long as there is no confrontation, unhappiness or loudness.
10) Sofie does not care whatsoever what anyone thinks, and will throw herself at anything she wants and be as loud as she can. And eat everything in sight.
11) Martin can be incredibly mischievous and ornery and a great blessing at the same time. I don't know how he pulls this off. He probably thinks it's a gift. What I do know is that it is a gift that his dear wife isn't constantly smacking him.
There is little better in life than to be surrounded by friends old and new who make you feel like we are all in this together. If we love Jesus, and we're in the Word, and we're wanting to be for His glory, then we're all in this together. One vision...His. If you're sharing Him in your job or sharing Him in Africa or sharing Him in a church plant or sharing Him at the grocery store, then we're together.
If we're all His children and anxious to make Him known in our lives and words and works and relationships, then we are all working TOGETHER...I don't think I've ever felt and realized that reality as much as we have these past few days.
B&J are working in a church plant in Nebraska and J&J are looking at preaching the true Gospel in the community next door and M&K are feeling called to live among an unreached people group and C&J are preaching the Gospel in the middle of the US and trying to mentor so many to closer walks with God and M&S are working to put missions into DNA and C is trying to challenge Christians to go deeper and... Matt & Stacey are trying to teach the Gospel in Haiti--We're just all working together as His children.
None better, none worse, none alone, none in the same walk and work.
What great comfort, support, energy, power and relationship is to be found in that...His body...His church!
While we are thankful to have thousands of miles safely travelled and to be safely back in O-H-I-O, we are so grateful for these few days we had in Kansas and to therefore feel a renewed passion for just being HIS. With YOU.