Jacob graduated this past week from his Polish high school in Katowice, Hayley graduated from Aurora Christian in Illinois (after having completed 12 years of Czech school, she finished her high school classes online because of health reasons), and Claire graduated from BMA here in Frýdlant.
We all gathered up at Selah this afternoon, our JV retreat house, along with many from our JV family, to celebrate these three and the accomplishment of having finished well!
It was a lively gathering, as you can imagine! There were friends there to celebrate who spanned the course of their years spent growing up here. SO delightful to enjoy those hours together with everyone!
Thanks to JV intern training that began today over at Malenovice, there were many who were able to join us, as you can see by the number of cars packed in up at Selah!
Among the many who were able to be there, our own Tyler and Lara were with us too! So special to have them here for such an occasion as this!
One of the traditions of our three families over the years has been the one of "giving words", which we do at birthdays and significant events. Usually done verbally, we decided to do something a little different this time, and set out books for everyone to write in. Each person who wrote also took a picture that we'll print and put alongside their greetings, wishes and "words" to the graduates.
For these three MK/TCK's who all leave for the States soon, it will be an invaluable treasure to take with them...permanent words of love and encouragement from their JV family. Thanks to all who joined us in that special tradition.
We had the three graduates sit up front for a bit so they could share their upcoming plans, and then be asked questions by everyone. So fun to hear all their answers!
Our friend and JV teammate, John (who took all these photos for us...thanks John!) videoed the whole event, including a time of prayer that the three dads had for Hayley, Jacob and Claire. Another treasure on a special day.
I can probably speak for at least the three moms...not a dry eye in the house among us as our husbands prayed for these precious kids. How we love them!
Hayley leaves for Chicago in just 17 days where she'll work for the summer, and then begin classes in the fall for a culinary program at College of DuPage.
Jacob leaves in mid-August for John Brown University where he'll study cinematography.
And Claire leaves August 15th, also for Chicago, where she'll be at Moody Bible Institute, studying in the TESOL program (teaching English to speakers of another language).
A new, exciting season of life awaits them in the States! Pray for these three, that they will adapt to life there, develop deep friendships, find a church body to worship and grow with, and that they will continue to walk with God as they have here.
It's an end of a precious era for our families. With Claire and Jacob leaving, it means "empty nest" for Hash's and us. Ellenwood's have just one more year with their son, Noah and then he too will be gone.
So pray for us parents too! That we'll continue to walk faithfully with God into all that He has ahead for us as we continue to serve Him here with Josiah Venture!
See HERE, HERE and HERE for some past Ellenwood/Hash/Patty family memories and photos!