Ryan & Jordan

with Pioneer Bible Translators

Tag: friends

experiencing hospitality

by Jordee

As Ryan already mentioned, our time in North Carolina has truly been wonderful. Several themes of the past couple months come to mind: rest, family, transition, preparation. But one which continues to surprise us is hospitality. Seriously, every time we experience it, hospitality takes us off guard in the best kind of way. And, as I’ll hopefully make clear, I don’t mean hospitality in the simple sense of entertaining guests, opening your house to strangers, conversations over tea, and the like, though this is included. I hope to convey to you our experiences with the kind of hospitality that is characteristic of God’s family.

We felt it literally as soon as we arrived at our new home. We barely had time to unload our packed Civic before my sister and my parents paraded into our house with hugs, loud and joyful welcomes, groceries, and a Christmas tree. And then there is this house, our temporary home for our time here, which was freely given to us by a family whom we had not even met, but who were more than willing to loan out this adorable little house in the woods. Every day we are reminded of their hospitality. Then, a couple weeks ago, we were invited to speak at a conference at a local church, who stood and clapped to welcome the guest missionaries, who cheerfully and humbly thanked us simply for coming to share about our work.

Other experiences have been sporadic and equally surprising. We have had family members, friends, and people we barely know doing whatever they can think of to move us along in this journey we’ve begun to serve the Bible-less.

Perhaps it is because we have transitioned to a kind of life that is unusually dependent on people’s kindness and generosity, and so are even more aware of God’s goodness in our lives, but we rejoice in the hospitality of His people. The people of God have opened up to us, made room for us, and blessed us with kindness and generosity. May we practice the kind of hospitality we have experienced, the kind that makes space for others to live and to be at peace, the kind that joyfully and generously welcomes the stranger, the kind that embraces those who are different from us and liberates fearful hearts.

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Ned the Silver Bullet Goes East

by Jordee

Though he’d already taken us around 2,000 miles south, Ned was tireless and seemed more than willing to head east, since going any further south would mean going to Mexico. And we weren’t quite ready to leave the US again.

So we found the western-most part of an interstate which spans the country, west to east. We were both looking forward to being on this road, knowing that dear family members in two different states live just a few miles off of it. Ned made his second major turn, and we were on the road which would take us to our new home.

40 road sign

But not before a few stops. Needles, California; Flagstaff, Arizona; Gallup, New Mexico. For the most part nothing but open road, sunshine, coffee, semi-trucks, tumbleweeds, and some Louis L’Amour stories. And plenty of time to debrief and thank God for our time in our first home together. After a night in Albuquerque, we continued east anticipating our next stop and a day off the road at our parents’ home in OKC.

famed2

Feeling blessed by family and refreshed, we passed through Arkansas, then Memphis, and stopped to record our first album in Nashville. Just kidding, but that would be really neat. The next day was our final day on the road, and we passed through the Smoky Mountains as the road became gradually more and more familiar. No matter how long it’s been since I’ve seen them, signs for familiar towns make my heart a bit lighter. And then we pulled into our new driveway in Clemmons, soon to be warmly welcomed by family and an unusually warm, starry night. 4,085.6 miles later.

4085 miles

 

Ned the Silver Bullet Goes South

by ryan

Ned the Silver Bullet is seven years old.  He likes to travel and go really really fast.  I think he is faster than Usain Bolt.  He’s a Honda Civic.

The border guard gave Ned a glance and smiled as he welcomed us home; and our hearts smiled as we saw the USA.  We were thinking about our upcoming year with family and friends, especially the ones we were about to see.

We drove through Washington and stopped in Corvallis to see our Dear Friend and Deer Friends.  The Deer of Corvallis are not skittish.  They came up to our breakfast table and stared us in the face.  Many Corvallisites do not fear predators.  Many of them do not eat meat–let alone hunt–so the Deer roam free in confidence.  And if the loaves of bread had legs they would roam free in confidence too, because eating gluten is not cool there.

Enough about deer.  The purpose of the stop was to spend time with a friend of Jordan’s from college.  It was so nice to see her again and it would have been great to stay in C-Town longer, but the South was singing our names so off we went.

friends

Our next stop was Sacramento to see three of my cousins.  They are three people I wish I saw more.  We had a blast with them and we hope they come visit us.  I’d talk about the hipsterrific place they took us for breakfast, but that would be a whole ‘nother story.  Southward!

Hello San Diego.  Hello seals and sun and beach.

LaJolla_beach_seals

photo by Microsome

There are so many wonderful people to see in SD and we wish we had time to see them all.   We did get to see a favorite uncle and a best friend from college, and got to stay with his parents and sister, whom I call my Southern California Family.  It was tempting to just stay in San Diego for a Decade, but we knew we were being called out East.