As all parents know, this is what happens to kids when you have to be at the airport at 4 AM, which means leaving your guesthouse at 3 AM, which means getting everyone up at 2:30. This was taken in Lima before we flew on to Cuzco.
Everyone loves to say, “Your kids are going to do great.” “I think this will be so good for your kids.” “Kids adjust so easily.” Easy for you to say
, I sometimes think. I am reading a book called Third Culture Kids: The Experience of Growing Up Among Worlds
. It gives me a lot to think about, watch for, and pray about. Reading this book might make some people say, “I’m not sure if it will be wonderful for your kids, but I want you to obey the Lord and go.”
But the point is that everyone is right! Our kids are doing wonderful. They have skipped breakfast without complaining, climbed up the mountain many times in the dusty heat, made new Peruvian friends, eaten yet another peanut butter and pan común sandwich, taken cold and then scorching showers, tried new foods, suffered about 300 fly bites between the four of them, met dozens of new people, some of whom only speak German, and taken it all in stride.
Sometimes they want to watch Disney movies on the computer or make a big mess with Legos in their room. Sometimes it is hard to share their toys or they don’t understand what their new friends are saying. Sometimes a little Coke makes it all better. Sometimes a wind storm and the resultant eating by candlelight is an exciting new experience. Sometimes watching Dad burn the paper garbage outside is so cool. Sometimes helping Mom hang the laundry on clotheslines is a good time to talk. Sometimes they need a little extra attention, but they are a super encouragement.
David says that God has been reminding him of all of the ways that He is blessing us and that when he feels a little sad, he just goes outside and looks at the view and talks to God.
One day we had reached the top of the hill but we could not get the gate open. I realized that we would have to climb down, find someone in the hospital who could tell us how to make the key work, and climb back up. I was giving Peter and Sarah a pep talk: We can do this, we need to figure this out so we can open the gate before Dad, David and Annie get back and don’t know where we are, and we are tough enough. Sarah looked at me and said, “We are missionaries!” When she did fall, pretty hard, on the way down, she got up and dusted her hands on her pants without crying. I said, “We are missionaries!” and Sarah raised her fist in the air, “Yeah!”
Praise and thanks to God for fortifying our kids and for giving us such strong encouragement through our favorite ten-and-under crowd.