Saturday, July 4, 2015

Happy Fourth of July!

We want to wish all of our American friends and family a very happy Fourth of July!

We celebrated America's big day with a cookout of hamburgers, steaks, grilled corn and squash with potato salad, veggies and ranch dip (thanks Aleece K.!!), watermelon and s'mores!  We had some friends over to Attila's and Adel's house (they graciously allowed us to host there!), and we had a fun, relaxing afternoon together.  Claudiu and Cristina, two teachers from our after-school program, were there, along with our friends Lucian and Cristina (a Romanian pastor and his wife who live in our apartment building) and Gyorgy, a friend of ours from the Reghin church.

Preparing the feast

Enjoying the feast

Paul had some big fans once he started cutting the watermelon!

Kaleb had a great time playing with the flag

Probably more so now that we are far away, holidays are a time of reflection for me.  On this day, I am thankful to be the citizen of a country whose passport allows me to travel the world and even make my home someplace elsewhere.  I'm thankful that America is such a friendly place for us to go home to, though we have much more work to do to make that true for all Americans.  And I'm proud to represent a nation that inspires so much hope in the hearts of dreamers all over the world, because hope keeps things alive.

I'm also thankful today to be the resident of another nation across the world from America, a nation that has welcomed me as an immigrant, albeit temporary, with respect and dignity.  A prayer I pray for America is that it will continue to learn to welcome immigrants and refugees not just with respect and dignity, but also with love (see Leviticus 19:33-34 and Deut. 10:18-19).  As a foreigner here, I'm constantly reminded that my true citizenship lies in the Kingdom of God, and grace is bigger than borders or languages or nationalities.

This week we're heading to our first round of camp!  Please keep us in your prayers for safety, health, good team relationships, and a big bunch of happy and healthy campers to love with all our might!


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