I have been really blessed that a lot of friends have already come to visit me since I moved to Prague. I haven't gotten around to getting pictures of all of my guests posted here , but here are the latest. Danny and Annaliese Foote from Kagarlyk, Ukraine came to visit and it was great!
[The Footes, Ruthann (my roomie) and Jason (pastor of CC Prague) having coffee in Prague.]
Danny is part of an elite group (in my opinion, ha!). When he was about 13 I was his Jr. High Sunday School teacher! It has been a blessing to see him grow up into a wise young man of God (Liese is no slouch, either!). :)
Danny, Jake Knotts, Paul Sisemore IV and Josh Tremeer were all in that class and for a time all served in Ukraine as missionaries during the time when I was there. (Jake is still there, check out his blog at jakeknotts.blogspot.com)
One time one of the boys' moms said to me that it wasn't fair that they (the kids' parents) had done all the hard work and now I got to enjoy all the fruit of that work instead of them since I saw the kids on more of a regular basis while living near them in Ukraine! had to agree, the parents had carried the real load, and I got to just sit back and enjoy the results! But I was glad that since I don't have my own kids I was able to enjoy these - just part of all the "kids" God has given me over the years.
Once in a missions conference I heard author and veteran missioanry Elizabeth Elliot say that "all women are called to bear children". And I have to say that my initial response was not positive! I was sitting there single and wondering "Great! Where does that leave me?!" But then she went on to say that if "you aren't bearing children physically, you can still be bearing children spiritually". She went on to say that God had designed women to reproduce, to nurture and to care for young...and that just because that wasn't happening in your life physically was no reason not to experience that joy or avoid that responsibility of "motherhood"...that there were plenty of people that at one time or another in their life need spiritually "birthing" (initially coming to faith) or "mothering" (encouraging to grow, to learn, to get up even when they fall and keep walking).
I have cooked a lot of meals, washed a lot of sheets, and made a lot of beds for these guys (and many others!) and although I know its nowhere near the work of being a "real" parent, I'm so blessed to have had the chance to do even the little I could. I don't know when they grew out of being my students to being the ones that so often I turn to for counsel, etc., but it has been great to see them grow up. To their biological parents, if you didn't know this already - they all are great "kids". You should be proud. Thanks for "loaning" them to me. :)