Everybody showed up for church today. It was a packed house and it was so nice that the weather allowed us to open windows to welcome the breeze and rain cooled the air. When that many peeps pack a house, it can get mighty warm mighty fast. But today was pleasant and folks hung out later than usual. The small fries were able to run amuck outside and the older set played Ultimate Frisbee and some basketball. The dessert table included Pumpkin Rolls, Pumpkin Pie with Homemade Whipped Cream, and we made Pumpkin Crunch. The singing is always great and, though I’m dead tired and kept trying to fall asleep, there was a teaching time that was anointed. I was also blessed simply by the conversation shared among sisters. Very convicting. I was reminded of how a wife has the power to turn a perfectly decent husband into a monster, a lame husband into a worse one, or a monster into a perfectly decent husband. That’s another blog post.
Today’s biggest focus, besides Christ, of course, was the imminent departure of our friends from South Africa. Walter, Elaine, Janna, Nadia, and little François. They have spent the past year with us as dear friends and members of our church. For most of the past year, Lenae took Autumn and Isabelle to the our friends’ home each Monday to give a ballet lesson to help them learn English, have friends their own age and, of course, learn ballet basics. Lenae used what she has learned from working at Dance Techniques and it was fun to watch her put together lesson plans for them and talk about how each lesson went. There were days they stayed longer so the girls could play. The friendships made between the girls and the bond that Lenae developed with Elaine were precious to watch. We’re already talking about sending Lenae to visit in South Africa after we can save up enough money.
It’s been fun learning about the differences as well as similarities in our cultures. What’s been especially enjoyable has been sharing the love of cooking with Elaine. She’s a fabulous cook and always goes over the top. We’re likeminded in the importance of presentation and experimenting. When we asked her what her likes and dislikes of American cuisine are, she said she likes it all. If she weren’t moving back, we would put her to work at our shop. She said if she were staying, she would love to. Man, I wish we had opened earlier!
Elaine and I also like to laugh. We enjoy good humor and good jokes. Her joy is contagious and I’m going to miss having that around. If laughter is good medicine, I’m a healthier person because of Elaine. As it usually goes, I regret I didn’t take the time to get to know her better earlier in the year.
So, this week, our friends will be heading back home on an 18 hour flight with little kids (pray for them!) and they have so many mixed emotions. They’ve missed their family and friends and country but will miss being here. My emotions aren’t mixed at all. I’ve already had the tears fall a few times the past week (and tonight) and I would love it if all of their family just moved here. But, since that can’t happen, we’re already having serious discussions about saving for a trip to South Africa, preferably around New Year’s because they have this way-awesome international fireworks competition at Cape Town! Who knew? Until then, thank God for internet. I’m gonna have to learn to use Skype.
Play With Your Food!