The night before we left was so great. Francis has become our great friend. Throughout this time he has really been on our heart, and a unique friendship has been formed. We go out every night for hours to surrounding villages. Every night we are bonded closer with him, hearing more of his story and just becoming better friends. It is so amazing because on at random times when necessary we will just start praying for each other or whatever needs to be prayed for. We were so grateful to hear his full testimony the last visit to a village. There is something incredible about hearing someone’s story. He was told by God to just start memorizing verses after he became a Christian- and He definitely has a gift. I spoke to the village about idols, and Francis finished with a sermon from memory that tied up all the loose ends and put the icing on the cake. He is an incredible teacher- preaching on the fly. We ended our very last night with a long goodbye from Dee, and laughing very hard with her and her family watching the video of us scaring Christian in every country. Francis walked us to our room where we enjoyed the snacks he got for us as a send off memory. We had rice-paper-sugar treats with the curry chips. Soooo goodJ Really! We prayed with and for Francis for quite some time then it was time to hit the hay. Of course we couldn’t really go to bed with the girls consistently knocking on our door to give us goodbye balloons and treats. We tried to put a 5 pound can of ham in christians back pack, but he caught itL and so no success. So we woke up at 4 ish from going to bed at 1 a.m. Tired. We woke up groggy and ready to leave. When we were loading the car, when one boy saw we were leaving the word spread like wildfire and soon enough about 100 boys were saying goodbye. We left, making it through the gauntlet of boys shouting, “happy journey!” and trying with every bone in their bodies to get some kind of hold on you. This was very difficult for us. The boys have become our own. Doing devotion with them and being with them every day- they have really grown on us. It was so difficult leaving knowing we couldn’t provide for their needs, but needed to trust God with all of them. Leaving Basha was difficult as well too. This is the boy who is struggling to get through due to financial issues- that we have come close to. So we left Basha, the boys, Francis, Dee, Emmanuel and their family. Up up and away.
We got on the train and were greeted by a very friendly man whom we named “Stuart” for appropriate reasons due to his buzz. He was very excited we were on the train and laughed more than spoke. After waking up I saw Christian and Andrew had made a new friend, Kevin from Great Britian. He was a very intelligent and kind man. We had an interesting discussion about the church and just about everything else. He was headed somewhere else in Channai, but on the way to the airport. So we decided we’d take a cab together and we’d drop him off on the way. We were greeted by another very charged up man who was thrilled to see us. It seemed as if we were his long-lost friends. We piled into this taxi and were laughing the whole time. Our driver(s), Rodgie and Johnnie, kept us entertained that is for sure. After dropping Kevin off, we moved toward the airport. Rodgie (who was driving) allowed Christian to steer from the passenger side with one hand. This was a moment that we wished we had the camera, but our backpacks were hanging half way out of the trunk (which had the camera). So Christian steered the vehicle while we drove like a formula 1 race car through the city. Finally we have made it here at the airport and it has already seemed like two days. We are amped for the mission trip we have right ahead of us, and to begin a whole new one. WE ARE READY FOR A WORLD-SACKING, SUPERHIT ADVENTURE AS WE HEAD TO THAILAND!
Sri lanka thus far (the airport) is quite unique and one of those places we are realizing we are far from home. Couldn't be better though... we miss you!