Okay, we are almost halfway through May and I'm trying to figure out where April went. Court and I have had full schedules - good things. We have still been taking a Sabbath day each week - what a gift in the midst of things to rest, worship, and be refreshed.
Court took me out for lunch at a nice restaurant on Thursday for my birthday - and she bought me a new shirt for the occasion. The lilacs are blooming so we paused for a photo of peanut, the shirt, and the lilacs.
Courtney's brother, Todd, came to visit during Easter, and we had a great time hanging out, building baby furniture (a crib and changing table), coloring eggs, and walking through Riga.
For the 4 Sundays in April I was in 4 different congregations in 3 different countries. Todd actually arrived in Europe the week before he came to Riga, and I met him in Paris for a few days and then we went to Rome briefly before coming to Riga. I had a chance to worship in the American Church in Paris on Palm Sunday - almost three years since I had last worshiped with that congregation. What an amazing restorative few days in Paris. I thank God for a few friends with whom I was able to reconnect and share the past few years. Todd also came with Courtney and me to the Easter service we led for one of the smaller congregations who met in the kitchen of the lay leader.
The week after Easter I attended worship in a Lithuanian Methodist congregation, and it was the last official duty of Bishop Olsen who has been a great encouragement to Courtney and me these past 18 months.
While I was in Lithuania, Courtney organized an event for the youth called 24-hours of Service with youth from various congregations participating. What an amazing opportunity for youth to engage people across generational and socio-economic lines to discover that sharing our lives' stories and listening to the stories of others can be encouraging, restoring, and redemptive. At 7 months pregnant Court did awesome staying up until 2.30am and sleeping on the floor.
In gearing up for summer, Court has met with the program leaders for each camp and I have met with our first ever summer staff - We are excited to see how things work this summer.
A group of 6 folks from Tennessee came for a week and we hosted them for part of their time - sharing our lives, going to the Hope Center for bbq, games, and songs, and we even spent a night at Wesley Camp. They brought a few things for the baby. THANK YOU!
Court starts her maternity leave at the end of this week, so she is trying to tie up as many loose ends as she can for the summer. The doctor said we should be prepared for anytime after next week for a delivery... woohoo, peanut is on the way : )
Hopefully we will write more in the time before Peanut (our nickname for baby Randall so we don't slip out with the name that's supposed to be a surprise).
Okay, so that is just to catch you up on things : )