Adela, Vojta, Tomas, Tyna, Zuzka and Katarina
We are an American Host family for two Czech Exchange students who attend Kansas State University. Last August, Adela and Katarina (seated) spent a week in our home, then moved to the dorm to begin their studies at an American school. They come to our home for dinner about once a month, and we see them occasionally for other activities and e-mail, too. We invited them for a Christmas dinner and asked them to each invite two friends.
Last night, they arrived in good spirits, despite it being Finals Week. The four friends they brought along were also Czech Exchange students. There were eight of us around our dining room table enjoying dinner and conversation which never seemed to slow down. We all told stories, shared Christmas plans and talked about their next semester.
Adela is returning home on Thursday of this week, and she will not be returning here, like the others, for the second semester. So our evening ended with wishes for a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to her, but also a longer hug for a farewell. Not good-bye, only farewell. Many of the students we've hosted over the years have kept in touch with us when they return to their country. Adela, I think, will be one of them.
Some of the students are going home for the Christmas breaktime and will return in mid-January. Katarina and some of the others will spend that time traveling in the USA. She is most excited about a ski trip to Keystone, Colorado in early January. Classes will begin, and we will resume our monthly dinners with her and perhaps a few of her friends.
Christmas is about sharing the love of Christ with others, and we had a wonderful opportunity to do that last night. No sermons or preaching, the love was all around us, and we received as much or more than we gave.