In order to graduate, Czech students have to complete grueling written and oral exams called maturita. That's because it's assumed the process shows, or confers, maturity. In Paul Hugh's case, it really did! His results: English, 1, Psychology, 1, Czech Language and Literature, 2 and Art, 1. Remember that 1 is the best. Paul Hugh graduated with honors. Interestingly, he and a friend were our school's first to choose Art for the finals. They worked together on a graduation project. In the photo on the left, Paul Hugh is defending his work before the evaluation committee. In the photo on the right, he is awaiting the announcement of his excellent results.
At graduation, the class president traditionally makes a speech. Paul Hugh's was sweet and apt, full of respect and gratitude for the many adults who had brought them so far. And here he is, doing just that.
Then came the toughest and most exciting part of our journey: getting back to Illinois for the wedding. This included welcoming some of Lucy Rose's Czech friends and of course helping with preparations for the festivities at Pottawatomie Park by the Fox River in Saint Charles. What a lovely location! Check it out here: http://www.stcparks.org/VW-Systems/Map/map-details.asp?varID=669
This whirlwind adventure had too many highlights to get them all into a blog, but these pictures give a few impressions.
|Lucy Rose got to introduce Sheldon to family and friends who feel like family|
|Wayne and Gina Detmer hosted a fabulous brunch where hymn-singing was a highlight|
|Paul's birth mother, Diana, got to meet some grandchildren and Sheldon for the first time|
|Isaac was in charge of preparing a dance for the wedding|
|Patrick was in charge of preparing a song|
|Our friend Matěj was in charge of keeping Sharon's folks with us by Skype|
|Thank you, Prem Thomas, for this great shot of the big moment|
Paul got a little more time in Connecticut with Mike and his family before returning to Europe. Almost immediately, though, our dear friend Juanita Chamberlain passed away. Sharon was able to make it to New York for the services and fellowship in her honor. Immediately afterward, Paul helped to lead the BMA fourth year student's trip to Spain, featuring Barcelona and then the beautiful medieval town of Girona, below.
Immediately after that, Mike passed away, and Paul went back to the States. He spoke at the memorial service in Connecticut. Many of Mike's close men friends wore bow ties in his honor, as you can see below.
And finally, sometime in October, we stopped traveling all over. We tried to settle back into school. We're settling back into church. Sharon sometimes leads worship and is once again leading a weekly women's ministry. Paul still delivers about two Czech sermons a month. Soon B.M.A. will be in the thick of the fall recruiting season, with the trips to feeder schools and Open House day. Isaac is settling into school. He loves having almost four hours of dance classes every week. Paul Hugh is coming home from Slovakia almost every weekend. The leaves are turning yellow and gold and the mornings are chilly. Here's a scene from the mountain over our home. Consider a visit. Definitely pray for us, please.