and Our Kids’ Goodbye Parties

Even though kids can be very resilient and are quite adaptable, it can still be very hard for them to part with friends.  This is why we decided to allow each child to wrap up their time in Honduras by giving them the opportunity to say goodbye to special people in their lives in their own unique way.  They were able to choose (1) who they wanted to invite to their party and (2) what type of party they wanted to have.

Each party was different; but they did have a few things in common:

  1. They were all very simple.  Since the purpose of each party was to spend a memorable time with friends -and I’m not a very good party decorator-, we went “all natural” with the decoration.  We used what we had and spent money mostly on food, disposable plates, forks, napkins, etc.
  2. There were blank note cards and markers for guests to write a special message to the parting child.  If the guest was a child who could not write, I asked the child’s parent to write for them.  We loved collecting the notes at the end of the party and reading the special messages from friends.

Below you will find a picture and brief description of each of the three parties we had: Continue reading

and Finishing Well

In our seven years of working among those serving cross-culturally, we have had to see many others leave before us.  Some come for weeks at a time and then go.  Some, we think, will stay for a life time; and they return to their passport country in a year.  The average foreign assignment lasts about three years.  No.  Living cross-culturally is not easy.  There are bumpy, pot-holed roads to deal with, heat, sickness, fear of being robbed, political unrest, etc..  All things people all over the world go through.  But the truth is, the reason most people leave their assignment prematurely is RELATIONSHIPS with other expatriates.  Relationships are hard.  We’ve been there!  They are!

Therefore, finishing well in your relationships as you close up a season of overseas work is very important, perhaps more important than how you start.  But it will take some purposeful planning and prayer to end well. By God’s grace, we were able to end well.  Here are some suggestions: Continue reading

and Things our 7 Year Old will Miss

FullSizeRenderI just found this handwritten note that my youngest daughter wrote.  After correcting misspelled words, I had her write it down again and asked for her permission to post it on this blog.  She has come a long way from the first time we announced to our kids that we were moving.  She was not thrilled,at first.  She expressed sadness and disappointment.  “Mom, I’ve lived here all my life,” she said. We brought her here as an eight month old chubby baby.  This is where she learned to walk, talk, read, write, ride her bike, swim, meet her first best friend and so many other things that mark a child’s life.   Continue reading