Sunday we left Cincinnati behind for the last time, to Switchfoot’s “Gone” playing in the car. We packed a year of our life into the Blueberry (so we affectionately call our Hyundai) and left for Kansas City.
On the way, we stopped at a Starbucks to lunch on some of the leftovers we brought from the fridge in Cincy.
in Effingham, Illinois.
We drove several more hours, with Wayne Thomas Batson’s “The Door Within” on audiobook, our Nalgene bottles, and homemade trail mix and chocolate coffee beans.
With two hours to go, we had fun making sauce messages when we stopped at a Taco Bell.
Finally, we got to our hosts’ home for the week. It’s amazing how time and distance can separate us for over a year, and a friendship can pick back up where it left off, almost like nothing has changed (even though nearly everything has). We hope to someday be half the hosts for missionaries that Wes and Sarah have been here.
Gatherings and trainings started on Monday, and we again reconnected with some people we already knew and met new faces. We heard presentations about last year’s experiences, shared meals together, and got to see the outside-classtime side of our professors in their homes.
Laughs, stories, books, and tangerines were shared.
Tuesday brought more of the same, in good ways. We have continually found that past established relationships can be quickly reengaged, picking up connections and looking back on the collective journey to where we all are. We are grateful for the people that were part of our journey and part of bringing us to this point and this place.
We visited a coffee shop with an old connection, Hannah, and a newer one, Jeff. Coffee and conversation were shared. I (Paul) got to talk with a barista about the coffee culture here and had a great time doing so.
Over the next few days we have some more training and other things, and I’m sure will share more food, books, and coffee.
We’ve had several people ask where home is or where we live, and it’s tough to not answer too literally and say the Blueberry (Hyundai) sometimes. It’s not Cincinnati anymore. Kansas City isn’t it either, at least not for us.
But we’re heading g to something good and to good people that will be life-shaping. There’s just a lot of music, audiobooks, gas stops, and trail-mix-munching to go before we get there. Thanks for coming along on the journey.