Sunday, December 21, 2008

Welcome Home! Welcome Home!

This past week two children from my July Grand Rapids trip arrived home. Sergei, fifteen, whose Monday night arrival neither snow nor time could make me miss, was overwhelmed when he saw all the people waiting for him in the airport. Standing next to me and waving a tiny Russian flag was Lidia, thirteen, a veteran of my March trip. She arrived home less than a month prior and was already making a charming attempt at explaining the proceedings to me in English. On Friday, Maria, fourteen, got home hours after schedule when the Michigan snow caused the cancellation of her flight from Detroit to Grand Rapids. Stranded 150 miles from home at the end of a 5000-mile journey, some determined friends and family braved the weather and a mild fender bender to rescue the new family and deliver them home. There are myriad reminders why I work with the Lighthouse Project, but seeing newly-hopeful kids coming home and standing shoulder-to-shoulder on the welcoming committee with a girl not yet home a month must be among the best.