I haven’t had much time to write this last week. We’ve had a fantastic, super-servant-hearted group of 16 high school students and adult leaders keeping us busy until the very last day.
This group, from my home church in North Carolina has really made an impact on our little community. First they ran our first-eve children’s program for the Ringjallja Center. We had 20–30 kids each day from the community coming to hear about the Bible and God’s love for them. Second, the group led a river-cleaning project. There is small stream running through our town that is choked with debris and garbage. In cooperation with the local youth Red Cross they cleaned our targeted stretch of river with joy and energy. This may be a little strong, but I think they worked our local friends into the ground. I’m not trying to be arrogant, but these American kids really know how to work! For this project we were invited to the mayor's office and presented with a certificate of appreciation for the efforts. They explained for the local news how they hadn't come on a “humanitarian basis” but on the basis of the love of God for the people of Gjilan. The group also hosted three “cultural exchanges” during the evenings for the local high school students…
Anyway, this isn’t very good writing and I’m struggling to put into words what an impact this group made on the local people. At the same time, we have been busily trying to pack, while feeding and boarding this large group. They leave today, and we leave tomorrow.
If all goes well, we’ll spend the night in Prishtina tonight with some friends before getting on a 7AM flight for home tomorrow. God has done some fantastic things over the last four years. I hope I have time to process them in the weeks to come. Right now I feel like our family has been running full speed, and will right up until we get on the plane. “Back in the day,” missionaries had weeks to ponder their experiences, sailing on ships back to the homeland. Today, we’ll be thrust back into American life before the wash-water has even dried on the kitchen floor.
We’ll be back in another year, God willing. I’d like to do next term different from this one. I’d like to be able to spend more time with my kids for one. Anyway, I hope I can ponder and process a few weeks down the road.