I'm thankful that God has arranged a little time for reflection before we fly to Ethiopia. As Becca mentioned below, we are currently in Washington DC and will be departing for Addis Ababa tomorrow evening. We arrived at the hotel via shuttle with our quarter ton of luggage so we aren't going anywhere except back to the airport tomorrow afternoon. Perfect!
It has been a long time of goodbye's. God has blessed us with so many wonderful people that it takes a long time to say goodbye to only a fraction of them! Wonderful parents who raised us and taught us to be the people we are today (Mom, JD, Dad, Kim, Patty and Steve, I'm going to miss you all big-time). Amazing grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Close and endearing friends (today I talked with a very dear friend, Chad, a surgeon in Dallas). They are all over the world. Due to our layover here we had the opportunity to spend an evening with one of my long-lost and much-admired uncles, Uncle Dan. He lives here in Washington and works for the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. He's a brilliant lawyer, one of the smartest people I know. The congressmen may talk about their laws, but Dan is the one who writes them. I haven't seen him in over 10 years and, thanks to this trip, we had a great dinner and I got to show off my wife and son.
It makes me think of all the places God is putting people. I recently talked with an old roommate and friend from college who is leaving for the mission field in Angola as a church leader and pastoral educator. As we talked, we realized that three of the seven of us guys who shared a suite in college will be living in Africa! In addition to the two of us, our other friend is working for the US government in Nairobi, Kenya. One of my best friends from medical school is living and working at a mission hospital in Cameroon as a family practice and obstetrics doctor. My sister-in-law and her husband, two people dear to my heart, will be leaving for the mission field around December this year to work with Wycliffe Bible translators, likely in west Asia.
For an introvert who has often struggled with people skills, God has put a lot of awesome people in my life! I realize I'm kind of rambling, but it's late and I've had about seven hours of sleep in the last 72 hours. I say all that to say this: it's people that really matter. I thank God for the people I've met and known. I'm going to miss all you people, but it's for people that we're going. I'm also excited about the new people we will meet and befriend. Looking forward to sharing them with you.