We love having visitors. Of course it is wonderful to see family and friends, people who are so dear to us, and all the sweeter are these reunions after extended periods of separation. But, in addition, our context, being so foreign and presenting daily challenges that are difficult to explain, adds additional richness to the time spent with our loved ones from home. The simple act of communicating in our mother tongue, conversing for hours on end about subjects that excite us, and experiencing the pleasure of being fully (or at least mostly) understood, always proves to be a salve of sorts for our weary souls. We also have the experience, however distorted, of being masters of our cross-cultural adventure. Our visitors, in their dependence on us due to their vulnerability in this strange place, give us the gift of appearing to be experts in how to manage the shock of engaging this new culture. In addition, visitors always return home as ones who have seen with their eyes and heard with their ears the experiences that we struggle to expound with words. For these reasons, and so many more, we are grateful when God sends brothers and sisters in Christ to us, even if the time is always too short and saying goodbye is indeed hard to do.
Here are some pictures from the time spent with our latest visitors.
The kids sailing the seven seas.
Basic auto maintenance 101
Lily holding her cousin Audrey. In seven days, I'm not sure if Audrey spent more than five consecutive minutes on the floor.
Geoff, Matthew (Mateo), and Eli teaching / acting out the parable of the prodigal son during the Saturday kids program.
Matthew offering unsolicited English lessons to a few of his new friends.
The whole crew in Santa Rosa.
These ladies can talk! They held a 24 hour marathon, filibuster-worthy conversation that was interrupted only by their need for sleep.