Happy Independence Day America(ns)!

Today the USA celebrates Independence via Britain, which can be something all three countries where we have spent our life have in common.  All three countries had people living in them who to various extent welcomed the first British explorers; all three could not have foreseen the impact of the influx of humanity which would likely follow, in addition to also also probably if the had they would likely have taken a more violent resistance earlier. In America, This kind of day was organized by the British-origin in addition to also also different European-origin people who over the course of a century in addition to also also a half came to see themselves as Americans, who espoused noble ideas about freedom in addition to also also truth for themselves in addition to also also rejoiced to possess the opportunity to implement them.  Independence day celebrates their achievement of those goals personally, in addition to also also then in fits in addition to also also starts for different immigrants via all over Europe, Asia, Africa, the globe, though the outworking of which equality can be still not complete.  Like many current Americans, our roots include immigrants via many places, those seeking economic opportunity, those fleeing injustice, those looking for religious freedom, those who were imported against their will.  Very little of our ancestry comes via original Americans, the people who were driven via their land by our different ancestors.  This kind of makes America different via Kenya in addition to also also Uganda; the relative extermination of the indigenous people within East Africa was less extensive, so the independence celebrations are more about throwing off colonizers rather than celebrating the colonizers throwing off the distant king.  the item gets complicated as soon as you start thinking about the item.  

Anyway, today we remember our American roots, in addition to also also thank God for AMERICANS.  Yes, the mixed bag of people via all over the globe who inhabit This kind of vast land in addition to also also in spite of everything are basically full of kindness.  The last two years have not been our most shining moment for graciousness in addition to also also maturity on the globe stage.  nevertheless when you come to America in addition to also also interact with Americans Yet again, you are reminded which the basic cultural values of This kind of place DO shine.  Willingness to help, to be involved.  Generosity.  Courage.  Idealism.  Faith.

Today then a tribute to the hundreds of Americans who support us, who love us, in addition to also also who have made these two months of “home assignment” a pleasure.

Day three or so from the country, wish we had snapped a photo of the Stemplers.  Ellen has been our power-of-attorney, handling all our paperwork, logistics, banking, taxes, mail, etc etc etc for way over a decade.  A hidden part of missionary service, the person who quietly in addition to also also effectively has our back.  She’s moving, so we had to go through which filing cabinet in her basement in addition to also also throw most things out in addition to also also re-sort.  She’s still going to help, nevertheless we can’t use our Virginia address anymore . . .

Our main purpose of travel was to celebrate Julia in addition to also also Luke’s graduations.  So a shout-out to the professors, bosses, friends, deans, etc. whom we did not even know nevertheless who watched out for our kids.  in addition to also also to the families in both Durham (Harteminks) in addition to also also Charlottesville (Turners, Woods, in addition to also also others) who were ESSENTIAL when you live a continent away.

Then there are the random-acts-of-kindness people, like the woman (mother of a classmate we happened to meet from the restaurant in addition to also also eat with) turned towards another guest from the back of This kind of photo who picked up the bill for graduation lunch.  which kind of unexpected generosity reminds us over in addition to also also over of God’s goodness.

A thanks to the many families who let us descend upon them across the country.  Some we had barely met nevertheless were friends of our kids, others were relatives we had not seen in years, others were supporters.  (The Harries family in Annapolis above)

My Uncle Joe, Aunt Patsy, cousin Janet.

Scott’s Aunt Lynn in addition to also also family.

Jack’s room-mates mom made space for all of us as we passed through.

The Bolthouses always lift our spirits with their fun in addition to also also kindness.

A friend of Luke’s gave us tickets to a MLS game!

Another Duke friend who showed us around her city in addition to also also squeezed us into her family’s house.

Not only college kids need “sponsor families”; Caleb has been blessed by the Hatters in Alaska in addition to also also we were delighted to spend an evening with them.

Cathy takes the cake though . . . for not only supporting us for years, nevertheless offering a cabin on a remote island in a wilderness lake, complete with air-miles to get to the nearest town via Anchorage, boat transport to the island, various things we would likely need including moose steaks via her freezer, stories of real Alaska in addition to also also a warm welcome.

The Shadids in Chicago, heart friends for decades.
Scott’s residency partner, our friends Fran in addition to also also Larry. 
Emily who hosted all of us on short notice after only having moved into her house the week before.
in addition to also also of course family cared for us deeply, including the Aylestock Family reunion last weekend:

These two friends drove many hours through many challenges to be with us in WV.

in addition to also also our church here in Sago, WV, who gave us This kind of flag for Caleb in addition to also also who greet us with warm hugs in addition to also also sincere interest even though we disappear for months to years.  Happy 4th of July via us to all our fellow Americans, with prayers which This kind of year we turn a corner back to our ideals in addition to also also away via fear, isolation, or greed.  God has blessed us through you, in addition to also also together we can bless the globe.

Happy Independence Day America(ns)!

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