Friday, August 03, 2007

Thailand Exchange Student

My daughter is spending a year exchange over in Thailand. I'm thrilled for her! She was met at the airport by a large group of warm and loving people. They even sent me photos right away of their greeting!

I am so grateful to the host families that are opening their homes to welcome in a teenager from the U.S. This is a program that will do some wonderful things in cultural understanding. There are several programs available, but I'm very impressed by the Rotary Youth Exchange.

To the wonderful people in Thailand, thank you. I hope to one day have the opportunity to express my gratitude for all you are doing to pour into my own daughter and the other youth you support during their exchanges.

I am also awed by the courage it took my daughter to embark on this dream. She worked very hard to achieve it. She now has the opportunity to learn Thai, Chinese, Japanese, and the experience of another place. Her heart is open to this huge leap into the unknown.

We've always made it a priority to take our kids on trips outside our comfort zone. I believe in designing your dreams so that you make a difference in the world rather than wearing designer clothes. So far, this philosophy has opened up international travel to all of our kids.

I'll never forget a comment made by my son's coach. He said, "The world is a small place for Forrest." I want my children to be a part of the community of the people God created rather than in a small microcosm that they never leave or can see beyond. I hope that I've poured into them the delight of exploration and the joy of getting to know people and places all over the world.

My daughter's year abroad is emotionally tough because I miss her already. But I am looking forward to the woman she will become because she had this experience. Yes. There is fear in letting go. I do trust that she is living the plan God has had for her since he knit her together in my womb. I believe this is one small part to give her the tools she will need to live out the dream the Lord placed in her heart, woven into her DNA. Just look at her glow! And look at the hearts He put in her life this year.

Go and grow pretty girl. I love you, Mom.

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