Today we invited all of "lower station" (hospital and Bible college staff) to an open house to celebrate our seven collective RVA soon-to-be graduates.
Celebration and community are an essential combination in life, sharing milestones together. Before we cut the cake, the seven stood and each set of parents spoke a blessing to their graduate and said a prayer. Raising children is a shared affair, and we are blessed by the many friends who came around today to acknowledge that reality.
And by those of you who read this blog from afar, and pray.
Here is the letter we sent to our supporters, as we prepare to see Julia graduate:
Dear Praying Friends: 12 May 2014
Julia is our Jewel, a precious gem of a soul, multifaceted, shining under pressure, sharp and strong. And you have been a part of her journey from the beginning, when she was a fetus in Uganda, when she was born in Virginia, when she was an infant being carried through a war zone and evacuated by helicopter, when she was a toddler living in displacement, through all her school years growing in grace and favor with God and man. She has been tough enough to survive Ugandan school, caring enough to draw friends into her life from many languages and cultures, smart enough to keep up with three brothers, fast and agile enough to join the first-ever girls’ football team from Bundibugyo participating in national tournaments and then to play and captain multiple varsity sports at RVA. She was voted “Most Encouraging” in the senior class, an apt title for someone who prioritizes prayer and relationship. You would be hard-pressed to find a 17 year old girl more responsible, more independent, less influenced by fleeting opinions, more fun and adventurous, more comfortable with dairy cows and computer programing and motorcycles, or more beautiful. And all of this rests on the prayers you have prayed, the sustenance and counsel and assistance you have given our family. So as we approach her graduation, we want to take this opportunity to say “Thank YOU.” To invite you to reflect on God’s mercy to all of us as you receive this announcement, to sense our gratefulness for the ways you have blessed us.
Julia will attend Duke University in Durham, NC, beginning in mid-August. She is a gifted young woman with a heart sold out to God and we look forward to seeing what direction He will lead in her life.
We will be in the States for the month of August as we help her get ready for college and attend orientation, as well as visiting my Mom who is recovering from serious back surgery. Luke will also be starting medical school that month. He graduates from Yale on May 19th with a bachelor’s degree in African Studies and a concentration in Global Health. God has opened doors for him with scholarships and financial aid and it looks like he will head back to the very place where we met and began this journey, Charlottesville, to attend UVA’s Medical School. Caleb is finishing a grueling second year at the US Air Force Academy, slowly recovering from his devastating knee injury, majoring in mechanical engineering. Jack will begin his senior year at RVA in September. These kids have survived on your prayers, and are potentially a quadrupling of sacrificial Kingdom blessing pouring back to the neediest corners of creation where their hearts remain as they study. We continue our crazy, demanding, fantastic jobs: working as doctors at Kijabe Hospital, teaching a new generation of Kenyan doctors and nurses, encouraging and bolstering six teams in four East African countries, caring for missionary kids at RVA. We plan a “real” Home Ministry Assignment (year of furlough) after Jack graduates in 2015, to meet you face to face, and prayerfully seek God’s next steps for us in Africa with Serge (the new name of World Harvest Mission).
May God continue to bring Julia to your hearts to pray for her during this transition. And for all of us, who will be grieving her absence as we press on.
Jennifer, Scott, Luke, Caleb, Julia and Jack
c: +254 706 060 813
m: Box 20, Kijabe 00220 Kenya