I scanned the room and then my face lit up as I beheld the joy on hers. Even in the sea of black suits her gorgeous smile was more than enough to draw me right into her giant amazing hug. I had been hesitant before to return to this event that had held so many emotions for me but seeing Rachel made everything right. I was supposed to come back to this memory laden place like this. Not for me but for her. And I couldn’t imagine it being better. As we happily chattered I glanced over and saw a boy of the tender age of six sling a backpack right on up over his miniscule suit jacket and walk off. “What’s that I thought?! Are they cloning these brilliant students now?” Much to my surprise I found out that there was a junior track.
Welcome to speech and debate tournaments people. For high school students…and apparently little children too.
So we waited for breaks and anxiously held hands waiting to see whether Rachel and Gabe had moved on to the finals. Of course they did and we screamed and then the room started revolving in the hurry and scurry of competitors quickly scanning the line up for each event. Danielle and I made our own list of speeches we needed to get to and then we were off. As we waited for Rachel’s speech to start I looked at her serenely standing there waiting for the judges to let her begin and I felt a certain sense of controlled tension mixed with a prayerful calm as I winked her way. It’s difficult to explain the vibe of those rooms. It’s as if a cello string is about to be plucked and air thick with anticipation will hold it suspended for those 10 minutes that can feel like eternity to the speaker. But speech after speech my sweet friend triumphed and sparkled and made me proud. Yet she is humble and gracious just like the rest of her wonderful family. We’ve “adopted” these delightful friends who came into our lives for a speech tournament 3 years ago and I’m so thankful that the Lord brought them. Mrs. H, Danielle, Rachel, and Gabe we are so grateful to know you. You all shine the love of Jesus and are some of the most delightful people I’ve ever had the honor of knowing. Thanks for letting me be a small part of your life. I love you.
P.S. Hosanna update: He has been moved to a private hospital which will cost more money but we hope he will get better treatment here. At this point they are saying that the only hope is for him to get a bone marrow transplant. The catch is that the doctors will only do it if his sister is an exact match. So please pray that she is! And that this treatment will work for our sweet boy Hosanna. Thank you all for praying. It has been an immense blessing and very needed!
P.P.S. UPDATE! $70,990!!! Does anyone want to push it over to the $71K mark?! Each and every donation really does make a difference for these sweeties in India.