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Wednesday, May 27, 2009

celebrations and reunions

Laura May, who has taught the Chedester kids and at Hope School in Fort Portal all year celebrated her 23rd birthday with us last night! We knew she wanted to come for a goodbye visit with our team before her term ends in June . . but the birthday was an unexpected honor! She was accompanied by Amy Hudson, who finished her term as a teacher here about a year and a half ago. Amy is traveling with friends who support orphans in the Kampala area, and carved a few days out of her trip to reconnect with us here in Bundibugyo. A few hours later packages arrived from PRAGUE for the knitting club Julia participated in, sent by former team mate Joanna. Another former team mate sent a package for baby Jonah, and yet another has been emailing involving potential recruits. These team connections that persist over time are heartening. They speak to the long-term nature of relationship forged by shared experience. They make more sense when our colleagues function as extended family than as fellow-employees. Scott and I have been processing about that lately. What is the nature of team and relationship, of the servant-leadership we are called to with our fellow missionaries? For many people who pass through our lives for months to years, the team pulls around them the way a good family should, offering meals and prayer and wisdom and empathy, or at rare times caution and concern and protection. And this makes missing milestones lonely, not just our biological family's events but important things like Lydia Herron's upcoming wedding. We are thankful for all we have learned from our own parents, and though we miss them we enjoy passing on some of their love to our extended team family here.

1 comment:

Roberta Simmons said...

Thank you so much for your thoughts about the nature of "family" and transitions and connection...both long term and short term and how they weave around us to deepen us, comfort us, challenge us, and sustain us, all at the same time I've been thinking about that a lot lately too. So your post really struck a chord. I've been helping Lydia with her wedding plans ... partly in honor of Betty, my friend and sister, whom I still miss greatly ... and also just because I just love Lyd and her family. Our connection with them were woven over many years and experiences ... and still are. Your words have given me perspective I need just now ...

I'll hug everyone at the wedding for you ...

Thanks for taking the time to write it all down.

Roberta Simmons (Kingston TN)