When Dave and I married in 1987, Dave was not only leading Malachi Ministries, but he was also running a youth group on a military base in Karlsruhe, Germany. I got "grafted in" to the youth group as Dave's wife, and came to love those first youth group kids like they were our own children!
We spent hours and hours with those kids - sleepovers, retreats, lock-ins, ministry team meetings, hikes, lunches at the high school, New Year's Eve all-nighters, chaperoning dances, Bible studies...what great memories!
Through the years we've stayed in touch with many of those "kids" (who were only 8-10 years younger than us at the time!). We visited them when they were in college, had a reunion once when we were living in Wheaton, stayed in touch as they began to marry and have children, wrote scads of e-mails and connected through Facebook in later years...and occasionally we've seen a few of them.
This week-end one of our "kids" came to visit! She and her family are living in Germany now, so she was able to take a cheap Wizz Air flight from Frankfurt to Katowice and come spend the week-end with us.
The verse that came to my mind all week-end as we enjoyed time together with Tracey was from 1 John 3, verse 4 - "I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth."
It blesses me to know that the investment we made in Tracey's life years ago has borne fruit for many years since, as she has faithfully walked with the Lord!