One of my best friends, Michelle, lives in Greenwood, MS. It’s one of those friendships with a history, which I won’t tell because it makes me look bad. Just kidding. Sort of. Long story short, we almost weren’t friends because of a big misunderstanding, then we became super close friends who hung out constantly, then she abandoned me for the super-frigid winters of yankeeville Ohio, then she came to her senses and moved back home to Mississippi (and I rejoiced!!) Despite all the abandoning and moving around, I wouldn’t let her leave me behind. I made her keep being friends with me, long distance or not. I hunted her down. All of that now serves in my favor, because it’s MY turn to move away. And since I stuck with her while she was in the foreign land of Ohio, she has to stick with me while I’m in Colombia. It’s only fair.
She’s been back in Greenwood for awhile, and I still havent made the trek up to that part of the delta to visit her. Well last weekend, we fixed that. I loaded my boys (and my husband) up into the Ol’ Odyssey and drove 85 miles on a gravel road to her house. (I’m not exaggerating that much about the length of the gravel road. I seriously had to take the van through a carwash when we got home.) And since it was technically a missions weekend, we had several events on the schedule, but I keep forgetting it was a missions weekend because it felt more like a vacation. I spent 3 days hanging out with my friend, letting our kids play, eating amazing Mississippi Delta food, and meeting fun people who are excited about missions. Her extended family and her church spoiled us (and Josh & Emily). Rotten.
Speaking of missions, let me just tell you that Michelle needs to quit her day job and go into full-time missions advocacy. (Well, her day job is raising 3 kids, so she shouldn’t quit that, actually.) The girl has worked her tail off spreading the word about our calling and our plans. We’re going to just adopt her as a permanent member of our team so she can be our official support-raiser. She’s on fire about what we’re doing, and it shows. If you want to see what it looks like for a friend back home to send a missionary well, talk to Michelle. She’s sending us well. She, her family, and her church are loving us, keeping up with us, telling others about us, and doing whatever they can to support us. They’re partnering with us in every sense of the word, which is awesome, because that’s exactly what we envisioned for our relationship with the churches back home.
So last weekend, the church invited us to come visit, share our calling with the congregation, and spend some time getting to know them personally. They hosted a Friday night dessert party, a Saturday night fish fry, and invited us to present to the entire church on Sunday. We had so many people asking about when they can come visit, how to take a short-term trip, or what our needs are for the next few months. It was so encouraging, refreshing, and strengthening for us in the midst of the chaos that is support-raising.
And like I said, it was kind of like a vacation. Which means I took lots of pictures (: Although for some reason I don’t have a single one of me or of Michelle.
Hopefully when we’re back in the states, they’ll have us back to do it again… Because that was fun.