I celebrated Mother's Day this year a little different than most would expect - with 15 people at my house for dinner. I was only related to 5 of them. :) I LOVED it!
Shawn has been teaching an international bible study on the RPI campus for the last 2 years. (I think he has done it 5 semesters total.) He loved this ministry, and it was so great to see the relationships formed and the people from all over the world - especially in places where the gospel is closed off- come to this study and hear about Christ. It has been fruitful in many ways, and he had been rejuvinated many times just from going to this class. But with our new schedule at two different churches, this has been one of the things that he has had to drop. He will be in Troy Monday and Wednesday evenings, and both of those evenings are taken with things right now. We are hoping he can get involved in the same ministry on the Union campus here in this area.
Anyway, after each semester the students have wanted to take him out to eat to thank him, and also to say goodbye to the people who are leaving to go back home. This time I joined them, and last Sunday evening we went to Buffalo Wagon to share in a traditional Chinese meal. (The majority of the students are from China!) We all ordered something, put it in the middle of the table, and shared. I got complimented on my chopstick skills and decided to be brave enough to try everything - even the seafood and tofu soup. (I usually hate seafood and tofu, but this soup was delicious!!) I got to know some of the men and women better and really enjoyed myself. When the topic of American food turned to McDonald's experiences, I know I couldn't leave them with such a poor picture of this country! ;) So we invited them all to come over the following week for a real American meal. I wasn't thinking about the fact that it was Mother's Day!
Last night we had 6 Chinese men and women, a couple from the Carman Road Church that we are getting to know, a student from the Bronx (that's international, right?) and our family in for dinner. We had fried chicken, buttermilk biscuits, coleslaw, potato salad, baked beans, deviled eggs, and 5 pies! Good old Southern comfort food!
The eating went well, and people seemed to like it, but the thing that I enjoyed most was the companionship. With my family's hearts coming alive at being with people from different cultures, we loved sharing the experience with Al and Ruanne (the couple from Carman Road) who jumped right in and asked questions, played pool, and made fast friends. It had been a rough week of spiritual warfare for our family, and we were tired and had (honestly) failed at praising Him even through crazy emotions, sickness, and insecurities. I was so thankful that God showed his love for us despite our "performance" with this amazing time last night. He is such a good God and it was a the perfect example of a parent's love. Which is, after all, why we are celebrating Mother's Day!
Oh yea, my kids also made me some pretty wonderful cards that are hanging in the kitchen to remind me of this love!