08 July 2013

my people

I spent last week in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin enjoying some wonderful community. Twelve (12!!) years ago, I went on a summer-long mission trip to Romania with a dozen people I barely knew. Scratch that. I knew one person from the previous summer in Romania. So it was eleven people I barely knew, plus one friend, in a faraway land for eight weeks. We spent our days loving on babies in a couple of orphanages and sharing our stories with each other. Our evenings and weekends were spent over meals and ice cream at McDonald's and years-old movies in theaters and walks and adventures to nearby cities and a "water park" that likely exposed us all to some deadly amoeba with it's still, murky water.

In the years that have passed, a majority have remained in contact, adding spouses along the way. We've rejoiced at weddings and births and adoptions and jobs and experiences. We've laughed together until some of us have--perhaps--had to change pants. I'm not sure on that. Someone else was telling me about it. And then we've cried together and mourned with each other loss of life and consequences of sin. We've prayed over each other and for each other. We've made it through some good and some bad. And still we remain a community.

I consider these people some of the closet in my life. Only we're spread across the state and country and even between continents. Because of the hundreds--and thousands--of miles separating us, we often dream of developing a compound. It's such a grand thought to be surrounded with such dear friends. To really do life together.

(Sure, it'd be hard. And there's absolutely no way I could "live off the grid" as Patti and I once planned as part of a compound. If you know me, you know that I don't like dirt. I don't really even like the beach. Because sand equals dirt. I can't handle it. So, for me, that pretty much rules out the gardening component of living off the grid.)

For these people, I am thankful. Thankful to laugh and cry, rejoice and mourn. Thankful to share without judgement and to be forgiven. Thankful for wisdom and encouragement offered by the many. Thankful that even if weeks or months go by, we pick up right where we left off. Thankful that our friendships are made from the stuff that counts.

Although only three of us were able to gather this time, 
here are a few links to blogs of these special people 
(or a spouse that we would have gladly had on our trip):


allison said...

Beautiful description of the amazing things this group has experienced together over the years. I may have a few tears in my eyes now...and it doesn't help that just before this, I saw Cristina Vidal's pics of her girls visiting Romania and felt such nostalgia for the place that started it all for us. I should add, however, that you left out our bonding over the super-carb, Magnum bar diet that we shared that first summer together. ;)

Kristina said...

Haha! Do you remember the loads of chocolate bars we ate, too?! Good, good memories. :)

Christine said...

Love you girl! Wish I could have been there to party with you all! It's such a great honor to have married in to this wonderful community.