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Friday, December 13, 2013


Julia got up with us at 6:30 and checked her Duke account, then emerged with the good news:  she was admitted early decision!  I am posting this in tribute of the CROWD of people who share the thanks for this event.  Truly the whole takes-a-village proverb is true for us.  We could never have reached the point of a third child accepted to University on our own.  First our prayer supporters who have kept us surrounded by grace for two decades.  A whole line of missionary teachers braved the spiders and malaria and heat and earthquakes to teach her to read, and spell (!), and sing, and add. She had brothers who passed down books, or who kept her on her toes and made sure she was safe in a very unsafe place. We had educationally-oriented team mates who took care of curriculum decisions.  Then when she was about 11 she transitioned to Christ School Bundibugyo where more teachers and coaches impacted her life, until we reached RVA mid-way through 9th grade (with a stellar interlude staring mom as the geometry teacher).  Here she has had mentors, sports coaches, disciplers, teachers, friends who have all encouraged her walk in faith.  When people from Bundibugyo look at our kids, they feel a part in the outcome, and that is just as it should be.  Julia is the person you want to be around: smart, pleasant, serving, persevering, responsible, and fun.  Way more so than we are, because of the influence of so many great people in her life.

Probably the most fun part of the day was the excitement her brothers showed:  they were genuinely thrilled for her, it was great to have that family phone-time of celebration!  And her grandmothers and aunts too.

Though we've known people from Duke over the years, it was not until we stopped by last Spring on our way down to visit family in Charlotte that Julia got a clear sense that this was the place for her.  She does not make decisions lightly.  We respected that assurance, and encouraged the early decision.  Duke has an overall acceptance rate of 5% (!!!) but applying early boosts that up to 25%.  This year they had record numbers of applicants, and took a smaller slice than ever.  We knew it was far from a sure thing, and trust that this is a door God opened for her to walk through.  They have given her a decent scholarship and some other forms of aid, which will help, though we are still working on the finances.  But most importantly, she'll be only a couple of hours from family.  Yeah!

Pray with us now for fellowship, good friends, mentors to respect, soccer, laughter, significant work that will bring out her gifts and bless the world.

Three down, one to go.


Anonymous said...

So thrilled your her and your family. I also live in Charlotte (Cornelius) and have kept checking to see what college decision was made. Wonderful. Bobbi Campbell

Meg said...

Hi Jennifer,

Again, we've never met but have lots of mutual friends in the WHM/Charlottesville world. I'm so happy for Julia and although i'm sure you have lots of connections in the Duke/Durham area, some of my sister's closets friends are the RUF (Reformed University Fellowship) campus ministers at Duke. I worked for RUF after college and love the ministry, and would love to connect them to Julia if she'd be interested. You can email me Julia's contact info and I will pass along to them (, or just tell her to look out for Rachel and Crawford Stevener once she gets to Duke! I have loved following your family and praying for your ministry.

Merry Christmas!
Meg Hooper

Anonymous said...

I've never left a comment before but have read your blog many times over the years, being introduced to it by my dear friend (and yours!) Heidi. If you need another Durham contact, keep us in mind. We moved here this summer for my husband to start his fellowship at Duke (peds critical care). Happy to share our guest room or help out in any way we can. Just let us know.
Heather Madsen