For the past week, my family has been hosting a couple from New Zealand as part of a Friendship Force International exchange program. Last Sunday Brian and Glenys Currie were strangers. This morning, I will wave goodbye to friends. Two more pieces of my heart have been given freely to travel halfway around the world–and down under.
We have been hosting visitors for nearly three decades, welcoming new friends from Russia, Germany, Brazil, Peru, New Zealand, Jordan, and Japan. We are blessed to have friends all over the world.
It struck me this week just how natural this process is for me, how easy it is to open my doors and my arms to travelers. I am eager to learn about their lives, their perspectives, their joys and their sorrows. I revel in showing them our area and talking about global concerns. I’m grateful to make connections that I hope will last the rest of our lives.
I was thrilled to share my cottage with Glenys and encourage her as she dabbled with acrylics for the first time in her life. Brian became my running partner along the river as I trained for an upcoming 5K race. All of us cried at the Light Opera Guild’s production of “The Civil War” and again afterward as we celebrated West Virginia’s 150th birthday (born of the Civil War). My new friends were awed by the fireworks over the capitol building and sang along as the band played … “Almost Heaven … West Virginia!”
My heart is heavy as my new friends prepare to leave … and my soul is singing with gratitude for this amazing opportunity.