Monday, January 15, 2007
No Longer Strangers & Foreigners
The weekend is over. Praise in Motion is headed back to the airport, five vehicles filled with weary adults, two toddlers, paper sacks with egg mcmuffins, and loads of luggage. Three days ago, six of the twelve in their group arrived at our home late in the evening. We shook hands. The boys were very tentative about staying with us, especially our 80 lb golden retriever, who terrified them. Don and I hoped we would remember their names - Kenci, Angenie, Emmanuelle, Keisha, Kaleb and Joshua.

Over the course of the weekend they danced 10 times, traveling up and down the roads of Pittsburgh. Our group clocked in about 15+ showers, ate their way through two pies, cobbler, a pot of chili, cinnamon swirl bread, and umpteen pots of coffee. We watched football together, shared the morning paper, talked about differences in weather, worship, traffic, where we each live. We stayed up late and got up early.

Last night I fell asleep with the covers pulled over my head, one finger in my left ear to block out the sound of Josh-U-A. He'd managed to squeeze in a power nap and was raring to go at midnight. This morning, 6 am sharp, Caleb (3) was downstairs to help me feed the fish, and grab his sack breakfast for the ride to the airport. Over the past few days, he'd grown more used to our dog, and gingerly gave him a few pats. Joshua toddled down the stairs, and I was a bit sad to know he wouldn't be here tomorrow morning, or even tonight, keeping us all awake with his toddler chattering. He won our hearts over quickly. Kenzi told us both sets of grandparents' culture (Haiti and Bahamas) disapproves of cutting a child's hair til they are two and talking. Out of respect, they've let it grow. Next week Joshua will lose his cornrows, and get a buzz like his big brother. His hair is long, but they keep it braided because he won't sit still long enough to deal with it. That it looks adorable is just an added bonus.

Our neighborhood was mostly dark as the sleepy group loaded into cars to leave. Each one gave Don and I big hugs as we said goodbye. We told them we hoped they'd come back sometime, and we'd love to have them stay with us again. I doubt we'll see each other again, this side of heaven. That's okay. Heaven-side, it'll be like greeting old friends.

Seeing little people in our kitchen, early in the morning; pie and conversation late into the night; seeing their love for the Lord as they danced; it was so great having them with us. We'll make up for lost sleep over the next few days. We think they felt blessed to be in our home this weekend. We're pretty sure we got the better end of the deal, spending time with this special group of people.

"Now therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and the members of the household of God." Ephesians 2:19


  posted at 9:00 AM

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