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Relationships that last

While the crazy pace of packing and cleaning has remained relentless, the reality of leaving our home of the last five years is really starting to sink in. This has been a week of ‘lasts’ as we try to appreciate many of the things that have become just a regular part of life out here. We biked to church in the rain, enjoyed sunsets at the beach, and took walks around the island.


This morning we attended our last church service at Island Memorial Chapel, sharing many hugs and tears with the congregation after they prayed over us. Last weekend, Michelle and I went to Ebeye for the day and enjoyed dinner with many of our Marshallese employees. Afterward, they sang and gave traditional cultural gifts for our journey.

I’ve often said that Kwaj is like college for adults. It’s such a small place with a limited number of things to do and places to be. Many folks eat at least two meals a day together at the chow hall before playing sports with or against the same people in the evening. Some of our friends who have visited here leave feeling as though they’ve known our friends for so long because they’ve interacted with them so frequently during their stay.  It’s because of these regular connections that the relationships here are so unique. The time spent together, along with fewer connected smart phones, make conversations here deeper and more intentional than many other places these days. Similar to college, many of the relationships here are consciously different and likely to last a lifetime.

While I will definitely miss the natural beauty and access to many recreational activities here, it’s the people that I share those things with that have meant the most to me. Competing for the coconut trophy with my softball, soccer, volleyball & basketball teams. Coaching kids and connecting with them at youth group. Organizing free bike repair days with folks from church. Taking boats out to fish, dive, or just hang out with my friends. Snorkeling with….well, most everyone.


I am so thankful for the impact these people have had on our time here and the many memories we’ve made. I hope to reconnect with many of them again in the future and pick up where we left off – just like old college buddies.

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