Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Farewell Western Europe

The time has come for us move on to more distant lands.  We headed down to Belgium to grab a cheap Ryan Air flight to Greece.  With a bit of trepidation we bid farewell to our beloved Peugeot van.  We traveled 14,840 km (about 9,221 miles), in comfort and style.  I'm not usually a road tripping kind of a person, but I loved driving through Europe and being able to see the countryside.  For having around 398 million people it is astounding how much open space western Europe has and it is as beautiful to me as any castle, church, or city.  So thank you Peugeot for making it possible.  Thank you for your auxiliary outlets and bluetooth streaming.  Thank you for your spacious seating keeping maximum distance between touching kids.  Thank you for your back up beeping sensors and most of all thank you for your flexible bumpers.  We used them all and we will forever treasure the memories made along our European road trip.  

Our flight was on Monday so Sunday we attended church at a English branch near Charleroi, Belgium.  The week earlier we had listened as our church leaders encouraged us to reach out to refugees in whatever way possible.  We knew that there were refugees in Belgium and we wanted to help.  We gathered all our extra warm clothing,  and anything that we could spare, Eli even gave his favorite fuzzy blanket, that he had brought as a comfort item from home.  We loaded all these up into our biggest suitcase and took it with us to church, knowing there would be someone there who could help us send it to those in need.  While we were there we met the family of Mindy and Ryan Larsen and their six super fun children.  Mindy so graciously invited us over right after church.   I was so impressed that she put the feeling of needed a "perfect" home to the side and took us in, fed us delicious food, and let all our kids play, play, play.  Their kids were amazingly good to share all their toys, games, and even their Belgium chocolate with us.  We felt like the refugees that had been taken in, we were the strangers that were shown unbridled love and kindness.  We were blessed!

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