Today we head to the airport to begin the trek to Planet America, as one of our missionary friends laughingly calls our home. We have passed our 2-year anniversary in St. Petersburg, which in some ways seems really hard to believe.
This time as we prepare to go we have mixed emotions. Don't get me wrong, we are really, REALLY excited to see our families and to spend time with friends, but this time it meant saying goodbye to good friends here, and adopted family (which is something you do when you don't have "real" family around).
Yesterday at church I actually gave hugs and told people I would miss them, and they said the same thing, sometimes even before me! That might not sound like a big deal, but it really is. This time last year, and even in January when we had a short trip home, I really didn't even think about leaving the people at church behind. I didn't have friends there. I couldn't really have conversations with people. Yesterday I felt genuinely sad that I wouldn't be seeing my friends at church every week! The Lord has done so much for us this past year, so much for me. And I am grateful.
Maybe in the weeks while we're in the States I'll have time to do a post about this past year. I mean like this one from last summer where I listed some things I learned. I'm not promising anything though! But it is helpful for me to look back and remember what the Lord has done. He is an amazing God!
So now we are thankful for Skype in reverse. We exchanged Skype ID with friends here before our departure, which I find somewhat humorous.
We leave this afternoon around 12pm to go to the airport for our afternoon flight. We'll be stopping in Warsaw, Poland and JFK in New York before finally getting hugs from my parents in Charlotte! Please pray for our safety and for rest on the plane as much as possible. Isaiah is normally an exceptionally good traveler, and we are praying that he will continue to be so on this journey as well!
Oh, and since we'll be in the air, we won't know the winner of this contest, because it will be announced on Tuesday. So.....I think you can still go vote, or tell your family and friends and neighbors to go vote because Isaiah really wants ice cream! I mentioned ice cream the other day, and he went nuts! He started saying ice cream in as many different inflections as you can possibly imagine, but all of them very excited! If you have a second, he would really appreciate your vote for our picture, and so would I! After all, who doesn't love ice cream?!
But even more importantly, who doesn't love family and friends--which is what we're really excited about! I hope we get to see as many of you all as possible! С Богом! (one of my favorite Russian farewells, with God)