There’s a ripple effect going on right now. It all began seven years before I was born. In an African hospital my brother was born. My mom and he both had malaria… but lived. Next came my sister, right before Christmas. Then my other sister was born. Two years later, I arrived and haven’t left since. I remember being three years old and waiting for the sound of the airplane coming from over the hills of our little station called Nyankunde. That sound meant my brother and sister would be home from boarding school! I remember the homecomings and then the days without them again. I know now just how incredibly difficult those years were for my family. Missionaries often get a reputation for being above the ability to experience sorrow or regret or even make mistakes. As a grown-up now, I know that this is not how it was or is. The reality of life hits me every day, and I think often of how my Mom did all these crazy motherhood things in the middle of Africa, without the ability to update her life for the world to see and to give her applause or comfort as needed. Yes, those couple years of boarding school were more difficult than I will ever know. Even though we didn’t always get along, my brother has always been someone super duper amazing to me. He was knowledgeable in all things from airplanes to card-tricks. He knew how to solder a pack of duct-taped-together D batteries to a little hand-held Donkey Kong video game, so that it would basically never die again. He taught me how to master the rubiks cube and ride a motorcycle. He has experienced many life-threatening episodes throughout his life, and has displayed God’s power in so many ways through his endurance and faith. It’s hard to live almost 600 miles away from family, and any chance we get at building memories with this part of our family is special. Last week we had that privilege!
A day at Valley Forge for a picnic, a walk, and memory-making is always a treat.
I have more I can write about my sisters, but I will save it for another time. I love this model-like shot of B&H sporting the shades.
I often think of the years our family has had together. Seventeen cousins (four which were missed this week), four amazing spouses for each of us “original” kids. The African soil on which our parents raised us has left its marks on each of us in different ways.
These amazing kids are treasures! So thankful for the cousin bond that I pray lasts a life-time. I wonder just how many places they will go, and how much the world will change because they are in it. Praise God for the courage of my parents to go, to be different, to pray for their kids, to pray for our spouses, to pray for our kids. The fruit of those prayers is being seen in seventeen little ripples going out into this world, effecting this generation and I pray, eternity.