Summer Mission is over. While we were very sad to say goodbye to the college students who made Manhattan their home for the summer and the staff we have come to know and love, our family is ready for a much needed break.
All in all, this summer was AMAZING and we saw the Lord do way more than we ever expected! I posted lots of fun stories in our prayer letter this month, which you can check out by clicking on the link here, but here is a bar graph that shows our goals for the summer and what we actually saw the Lord do.
To be honest though, being on summer mission in the city you live is tough. Its hard to balance school for the kids with summer mission activities. Its hard for my husband to be gone SO much. Its hard to trek everyone into Manhattan multiple times a week and make sure we are back at a decent time for school the next morning (which came early!). Its hard to try to still cultivate friendships with the people you are meeting around you but also cultivate relationships with the students and staff on summer mission. Its hard to have a difficult 4 month old on summer mission. Don’t get me wrong….it was the Lord’s provision for us this summer as the girls were in school still….but we are ready for a much needed break. This picture shows you what we spent a lot of time doing this summer – riding on subways!
And then before we knew it, school was out. Here are pictures from Kinsley’s last day of school, Emerson’s last day of school, and Emerson’s graduation.
Little miss Emerson got selected for Class Sweetheart and let me tell ya…Ed is going to have his hands full chasing off guys from her. We found out two little boys in her class had crushes on her, one being this little guy below. She called him “her boyfriend” and told all the college students on the summer mission that she was going to “marry him.” As if!! His mom said he even picked out outfits for school and would ask her “Mom, do you think Emerson will like this?” Then, on her graduation day, she said she broke his heart and he was sad because she told him she wasn’t going to marry him anymore. I am bracing myself now. Someone please tell them they are in preschool and to chill their jets! This mama ain’t having that!
After summer mission ended and before we headed to SC to vacation and see ministry partners, we had a family day in the city. We let the kids splash around at a playground/water area in Central Park, climb a huge rock in Central Park with great views of the city, play at the playground, ride the carousel in Central Park, have a picnic in the park, and try a famous cookie place for the first time. It was such a fun day and a much needed change of pace.
While there are hard parts about living in NYC, we are discovering that the good definitely outweighs the bad. For instance, we found out that our building is the place to be for July 4 fireworks. We had friends over for a cookout and then were going to watch the televised Macy’s fireworks from our building’s balcony overlooking the city. When it started getting dark, we went over to our window and started admiring all the firework shows going off. Then, we noticed that people were on the roof of the apartment building next to us in our complex (which they were not supposed to be!). One of our friends snooped around and found out that a door was indeed ajar leading to the roof on our building and the alarm had been cut off. We, along with our friends, joined others on our building’s roof to watch the coolest firework shows we have ever seen!
Not only did we get to see the HUGE Macy’s fireworks show, we got to see fireworks going on in every direction, amounting to probably 30 shows at one time! We got to see shows happening from Flushing north of us, to the beach area west of us to Jersey south east of us, to the Bronx west of us. It was so, so, so neat and a definite perk of living in NYC and in particular, our building 🙂
This past week began our long month of travels. We will be heading to Georgetown, SC to take some vacation time and visit ministry partners, Colorado for our biennial staff conference (with only 3 kids in tow!), and then Greenville, SC to visit with ministry partners in Ed’s hometown. Our kids did so well on the airplane and are excited to be at Gammy’s house! Pray for our kids to sleep despite all the transitions and that even with all the traveling, the next month will be restful!