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Day 18 & 19

January 31, 2012

Did we leave you hanging on the edge for our more about our visit to St. Louis?  No?  Fine…but I will tell you all the dirty details.  We had SUCH a good time.  And we are SO tired!

We had a lot of apprehension about our decision to go to St. Louis.  We felt we were doing the right thing, but we weren’t confident.  We prayed hard that we had made the right decision, even though we were incredibly disappointed to change plans at the last minute, but the Lord answered our prayers and affirmed that St. Louis was, indeed, the right place for us!

On Monday we had a leisurely breakfast and then headed out to the St. Louis Zoo.  This zoo was amazing – the best we’ve ever been to – and best of all is it was free!  We only managed to see a fraction of the beautiful exhibits, but the boys (our host family went with us) got to see all of the reptiles.  We made sure to see the African animals.  The roaring lion did scare Levi, but was pretty awesome to the rest of us.  And this zoo has an okapi!  Okapis are only found in the DRC, so it was pretty neat to see in person!  (Pictures tomorrow, maybe…)  Oh, and the penguins…so adorable!

That afternoon we arranged a very special connection to visit with a family.  Let me see if I can get the connection correct…a deacon at the church at which we presented on Sunday morning told us about another church downtown that ministers to Congolese refugees.  That evening, at a different church, a couple approached us with the contact info of the Congolese pastoral intern at the downtown church. We called him and were referred to the elder that leads the outreach program for the Congolese.  So, we got to meet him and his family.  He and his wife go to the DRC yearly, at least, and use MAF to fly around the country to minister (he is a doctor and his wife is a nurse).  They were so gracious to meet with us and answer all of our questions.  We hope to see them again soon in Kinshasa!

We also made a few other connections that are really special.  A woman from one of the churches gave the mother of her students a prayer card because this family is adopting a boy that is currently living in an orphanage in the DRC.  The adoptive mother and I are now friends on facebook and I look forward to helping her in any way that I can, be it connecting her with other Americans in Kinshasa while she’s there, or just being an encouragement to her.  Another person we connected with is a Congolese refugee who escaped in 2004 and hasn’t heard from his family since.  We are praying that we can keep an ear to the ground to help him connect to his father or siblings.

What a wonderful series of events and a neat group of connections!  We are so blessed to have spent the last few days exploring St. Louis and spending time with good friends.  Oh, and I got to try White Castle for the first time…it was okay.

This morning (well, I suppose it’s technically Wednesday, but pretend it’s still Tuesday, ok?) we went to chapel at Covenant Seminary, since we were staying on campus, and then needed to run to the store for a few items.  We decided to stop by the Gateway Arch.  As soon as he could see it on the horizon, Levi was asking to go under it.  He was pretty surprised when we told him that was exactly what we were doing.  I have lots of neat pictures from that adventure too…but you’ll have come back for those.

After a brief run to Target, we headed back to get packed up and say our goodbyes.  We were on the road by 5pm and the kids were asleep by 5:10.  We made it without stopping all the way to Leavenworth, Kansas, pulling in our friends’ driveway at 9:20pm.  The kiddos did amazing, despite Levi having an equally rough two days as he had on Sunday.  Please pray for us on this one…it is extremely difficult to parent him right now!

And while we aren’t really feeling a longing for our own bed (this is mostly due to the fact that we left that in Alaska), we are tired from our adventures over the past few days and are hoping for a bit of rest here.  The drives aren’t long and don’t feel burdensome, but we might be getting a little stir crazy…we sang the entire “99 bottle of beer” song without stopping and were bummed it only passed twelve minutes.

For the next two nights we are spending time with some amazing friends we met in Alaska.  I think I could do an entire blog post on why this family is particularly awesome.  Levi is sharing a room for the first time with their 4-year-old daughter.  I’m hoping it goes okay…and now we are going to go to bed.

Tomorrow: Rest and our first time at Chick-fil-A…among other important things

One Comment leave one →
  1. Donna Resnick permalink
    February 1, 2012 0829

    Sound like you really were supposed to be in St. Louis. White Castles used to be so good, tasty as Levi says but I don’t think they are the same anymore. Not something you want to eat on a regular basis.

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