Family - I have such a wonderful, loving family who supports Karl and me in anything we set out to do. A great example of this is our parents and siblings who have come to visit (or who are coming to visit in the near future). When our family have come to visit us, they have been willing to go around to all of the sights and church gatherings we want to show them, as well as take part in some of our simple living choices while staying at our flat. A good example of this is when my mom was here. She was having a tough time acclimating to the coldness and wetness of Belfast, but instead of boosting the heat every time she was cold, we filled two hot water bottles up for her to put on her lap and feet. She was a trooper! So thank you to our family for being interested in what we are doing and where we are living this year.
Friends - Karl and I are truly blessed when it comes to the friends we have. We have so many friends back home who stay in touch with us daily/weekly, and we have met so many new friends over the course of this year in Belfast. It is comforting to know that we are connected with so many people who we can be open and true with and who we can count on. This past Monday when I was running the marathon, I experienced more support than I could ever imagine from all of my friends. Thank you all so much for cheering me on and giving me the encouragment to complete that goal of mine.
Church Family - Karl and I are in such an exceptional situation in which we are part of three church families. We are blanketed by the love and support of our home church in Laramie and have now been welcomed with open arms into the churches of Whitehouse Presbyterian and Woodvale Methodist. All three of these churches are filled with folks who strive each day to live out the teachings of the gospel. It is wonderful to be part of these churches, and what is even more wonderful is the fact that the folks of these three churches are intertwining this week! Right now, 7 people from our home congregation in Laramie are visiting Belfast in order to see the work that Karl and I do and to meet the people of the churches we are a part of. I am looking forward to the days ahead in which we can make more connections between our church in Laramie and our churches in Belfast.
The beautiful thing is that all of these three categories (Family, Friends & Church Family) run together into one, blended network of people that are connected by the love of our savior, Jesus Christ.
|My parents and I before the race|
|Running along Merville - thanks John for taking this!|
|Posing for one more photo before the start - with the one who supports me the most!|