Categories, smattegories. It just doesn’t all fit that perfectly.
But here are a few more photos and moments I don’t want to forget.
I’m so glad we got to meet this girl and see her sweet smile. We’ll have two more nieces to meet next time we land!
Yeah, Little Rock still holds a place in our hearts. And we like photo ops!
We were able to attend and share at the Marked Conference in OKC, hosted by the organization we used to work with–The Spero Project. Guys, this event is absolutely incredible. They did such a great job portraying the reality of women, children, refugees, and poverty around the globe; and they certainly challenged the church with practical ways to change it. I’m so thankful for all they do to change the world.
And she’s the hero behind it all and happens to be my soulmate! I’m so thankful we had lunch eight years ago and that I was able to work with you for a short year; and I’m so thankful we keep in touch now. And I think I’m thankful we have so many quirky things in common.
And we got to see this sweet family, who is just more American than we could be.
We got to sit on their floor over games, fish, and rice; and it was just like coming home.
They also wanted to recreate a photo of Stephen & Moo from years ago! Here is from 2010:
And in 2017:
Throughout our time in the States, it was SO FUN to spend time with our nieces and nephews. There are so many of them–19 right now, 21 in just a few months!–and it just so much more fun to be there in person than over Skype.
It was also fun to see friends with new babies and in new homes and new jobs–just doing life. We were able to fly out to Pittsburgh to visit my college roommate and her family. It was so fun to just see them in their element and see how much had changed since their wedding, the last time we were home!
Our trip out to Tennessee was also great. We spent a summer working with the newly resettled Karen in Smyrna, Tennessee, in 2008. Many of the families had just landed that year and were sorting out so many things of life in America. We played with the kids, taught English, went to doctor visits, played games, and just had all the fun in the world.
This time, we saw them all 9 years later–at a party they all drove to and brought all their kids and families to. They all own houses and have careers and are going to university. We sat around for hours chatting and sharing stories–from Tennessee and Mae La; from how our lives now are like theirs were.
We watched a slideshow of all our photos from that summer, while the kids tried to identify who was who and laughed at how much had changed. It was so much fun.
Some families & individuals will just always inspire you, and these are some of them.
Throughout the party, we were given many envelopes from different families who were giving their tithe to our community in Mae Sot. We were so honored to be blessed by them, and then even more surprised when we counted up thousands of dollars at the end of the day. It was just incredible to see their generosity, their love for their country, and their support of our lives there. Just, WOW.
And last–this was just fun. This was a crazy full day at Fritz’s Adventure Park that involved lots of slides and obstacle courses and climbing walls. All the adults left with a few injuries, but it was fun!
Perhaps that’s how we can sum up America: it was fun! We were definitely #happytobehere.