Thursday, July 22, 2010

So many goodbyes...

We've said so many goodbyes in the last weeks. So many hugs and tears. Yesterday was the "final goodbye" before our trip. We said goodbye to my parents and sister and Monte's parents at the airport. It was a long process and we took a lot of group shots. As we headed through security one of the women working there asked Monte where we were going and for how long because she sensed that it was a longer trip after watching the sendoff and the goodbyes.

The process to get to where we are now has not been an easy one. Trying to narrow down what a family of four brings for a year to 8 suitcases. Helping my children say their goodbyes to friends. Saying my own goodbyes. The beautiful things it that through all of the difficult times we have felt God's hand leading us. Yesterday we continued to sense it.

We met Monte's parents and brother, my parents and sister, and 2 of our nephews at McDonald's near the Tulsa airport. We were able to enjoy breakfast (or lunch, depending on what time you ordered) together and visit and savor a few more moments with our loved ones. We found a corner grouping of tables near a television that was tuned to CNN. As the time to head to the airport drew near, we gathered together and had a prayer. After the prayer as we were starting to clear the tables a story came on CNN about a fire-throwing tradition in El Salvador. Of course it caught our attention and we watched for a few minutes about a local village's tradition that, in terms of danger, might rival the Running of the Bulls. As we watched the video of the men throwing giant balls of fire as one might throw a bowling ball at the bowling alley, I felt like this little news story was a little wink from God. To me, it was an affirmation of our destination and caused me to smile several times during the day as I reflected on it.

A few hours later we had a layover in Houston. We chose to stop at Chili's Too for Dr. Peppers (which don't exist in El Salvador...sigh) and some cups of soup and chips and salsa. As the waitress took our orders and we all ordered our Dr. Peppers I told the kids these would be our last ones for the year. The waitress asked why and I explained. She then smiled and told us she was from El Salvador. One more little affirmation from God.

Now we are in El Salvador. The "goodbye" portion of our journey is over and we begin the next portion of it. We arrived last night and stayed at a hotel near the airport. The kids are doing great and we all got a much-needed good night's sleep. We're about to go enjoy breakfast here at the hotel. After that we'll take the kids to the beach for a little bit and begin the journey up the mountain to La Palma. It's been four years since Ruth has experienced El Salvador and this is Nathan's first time. It's going to be an exciting day.



David and Linda Gregersen said...

Memories flood over me as I read about your preparations and goodbyes. And what excitement at all the new experiences awaiting you! I look forward to hearing about your adventures.
Aunt Linda

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