Here's some thoughts from Gregory Peterson. Its our last night in the North! Driving back to Windhoek tomorrow.
I've been thinking a lot about relationships while on this trip. We have built and continue to build relationships with the good people in Namibia. We share a common faith with our many Lutheran sisters and brothers, but we also share common work and partnership in education with a wider circle of people. Here in "the North," as it is known, we also have several ties that bind Luther College and Namibians, especially through the ELCIN and Oshigambo High School. And today we widened the circle a bit with our visit to Nkurenkuru High School. Now in my fourth visit to Namibia, I am enjoying the deepening of these relationships and am excited to share this with the next group of Luther students and colleagues in January.
Africans define family in broad terms as well. We enjoyed a lovely evening meal on Saturday in the home of our friends Pastor Philippus and Mrs. Sophia Henok. They are the parents of three biological offspring, now grown, but are also the "parents" of many other children, even very little ones. Some of these are orphans or come from another circumstance where one or the other biological parent is absent. Others simply need support or mentoring. As a person without children, I am learning how important this extended idea of family is in many arenas and think of the privilege I have in mentoring young people in college, supporting their aspirations and seeing how the deepening of these relationships is a kind of parenting in and of itself. I am grateful for this and am proud of my many academic offspring! Ethan, of course, is one those, but he also holds a special place in the hearts of Ann and me and we will miss him dearly as he flies the coop in August to take up his two-year First Grade teaching position in Kuwait. Good thing we're all so electronically connected these days! And we will enjoy watching his professional life develop and hearing all the stories from this exciting chapter.
So, nothing too profound here but the musings of one who appreciates people and relationships and likes the way travel invites me to ponder and think. We think of all of you dear friends back home and covet your prayers for our journey.