Sunday, June 5, 2016

“Happiness is only real when shared” ― Jon Krakauer

Today, Karen and I have been married for fifty-one years.  During that time, we have raised three sons (Karen says she raised four boys and three of them were her sons), we have hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and camped for a week.  We have snowshoed into wilderness areas in the winter and cruised through Caribbean Islands with friends.  We have ridden The Maid of the Mist right up underneath Niagara Falls.  We’ve lived in a ghetto in Los Angeles, lived in West Texas, Northwest Arkansas, and Boston, Massachusetts.  We’ve traveled most of the United States and done mission work in Southern Brazil (the slums of Curitiba), and made a fateful trip to Tanzania in 2003 that led to our being here from 2005 on.  We’ve stood atop tall buildings in New York City and attended Broadway plays.  We’ve been to concerts at the Hollywood Bowl, the Greek Theatre, and Carnegie Hall.  We’ve survived record mudslides, earthquakes, tornados, record wild fires, and flooding.  We’ve both had multiple surgeries and are missing pieces that God put there.  Both have had emergency trips to hospitals in Nairobi, Kenya, to save our lives, but that’s so common.  We’ve flown most of the way around the world and used more airlines than there are letters in the alphabet.  Karen has taught for over fifty-two years (she’s still teaching) while I fooled around with several occupations till God got His hands on me (still does).  We are very proud of our three sons—who they are, what they are, and that all three know why they are.  We are also very proud of our three grandchildren, two granddaughters and a grandson that we get to watch grow through videos and live computer feeds (plus a rare trip or two back to the U.S.).  We don’t regret much if anything for everything has gone into making us who we are now, and we like who we are now.  To quote a line from “The Dead Poets Society” with the late Robin Williams, “We have sucked the marrow out of the bones of life and are the better for it.”  We’ve been charged by bull elephants and had to chase baboons away from our lunch.  We’ve had zebras make us laugh and lions and elephants that filled us with awe.  Most importantly, we have answered God’s call for us to do His work here in Tanzania where we will continue to answer that call till we die.  We do all of this because we love God and His children and each other.  We can do no other.

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