And in the 7th week, they rested.
I thought it would be harder to relax and take some time with my family, but I think being in the Balkans has taught me the value of balance and relationships. I think in America I’ve sometimes gotten it wrong – not necessarily in how I spent my time, but in how much time I spent feeling guilty about it.
When I’m working, I think, “I should be spending time with my kids.” And when they’re content and occupied, I think, “I should be using this time productively!”
Alas, the Adriatic soothed my soul.
We wouldn’t have gone if not for the encouragement of several Lifegate pastors, including Pastor Kiki, who had the original idea for us to take some time at the end of our stay.
I’m so grateful for amazing leaders who value Sabbath as much as the mission.
So, we went with our great friends Ivan and Aleksandra and their two boys to Pula, Croatia for 5 days.
Kurt and I were talking as we drove about how interesting it is to us that each nation in the Balkans has a distinct flavor and personality, even though they are all in such close proximity. We’ve been learning more and more about the history of the Balkans and the incredible turmoil they have all faced. I struggle to wrap my mind around the magnitude of pain just under the surface. Yet, in seven weeks, we were never once treated poorly by anyone anywhere we visited.
We went to a different beach every day and saw some stunningly beautiful seaside villages. On the first day, I asked Aleksandra if they planned to spend every day of their almost two weeks in the water, and she looked at me and said, “Of course!” By day two, I understood her response.
We were reluctant to leave, but coming back to Serbia, we got to spend one more incredible day with Djordje and Daca in Belgrade. I feel like the Lord tucks each city into its own corner of my heart. It may have something to do with the company, as well. 😉
Our trip home was LONG (flights delayed), but all of our belongings made it home, so that was good.
I could write for days about everything I’ve learned in the past two months, and I’m still processing so many things. One of most precious things I think both Kurt and I have gained is a deeper relationship of trust between us and our Father.
You know how traveling with someone catapults your relationship into a new space? There are some things in relationships that can only be built in time, proximity, and shared experiences. This is what our summer with God was like.
We know Him differently, now. I don’t know how else to explain it.
Now that we are home, we will process our experiences with the leaders at Lifegate here in Omaha, and we will wait on the Lord for direction about the next steps. I’m praying He opens the door for us to return, but we’ll just have to wait and see.
We love you all. Thanks for journeying with us.
To read about our entire journey, click posts in order below:
9 thoughts on “Final Update!”
Love you, friend 💜
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Love you back 💕
Emily, thanks for the privilege of going with you the 7 weeks via your updates, photos, our prayers and this post. Lord thank You for compelling the Wagoners with Your love. Speak to them as they wait on your interpretation of their time and there pursuit of Your next assignment
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Thanks Pastor Les! We love you both! Looking forward to visiting with you when you return from sunny CA. 😊 (And, you know, grandbabies and what-not 😉)