Monday, July 27, 2009

The HopeChest Gang. . pictures this time!

This weekend was spent in Colorado Springs, CO. As you know, we've been getting involved with Children's HopeChest for the last few years. We have fallen in love with their vision. . .and as we've gotten more involved, with their people as well. We have really enjoyed getting to help HopeChest in little ways over the past few months. I tease that I spend more time on the phone and email with their staff than I do any of my local friends! So, a trip was definitely necessary! I needed to see all of these people face to face and meet their spouses and families too!

We spent Thursday and Friday in meetings hearing about and brainstorming next steps for Uganda and what HopeChest is doing to meet the needs of the precious ones there. We spent Thursday night hanging with Tom and Emily and their sweet gang. My, their kids are SWEET! And easily won over too. . .I love that in kids! We've spent time with Tom but this was our first chance to meet Emily. She is just precious. LOVE her sweet heart for orphans and for God's work across the world. She is such an encourager to others to lay down their lives for Jesus in whatever shape/form He may ask us. They graciously allowed us to stay at their home on Thursday and Friday night as well. This was my view when I went running at dawn the next morning. . . The picture doesn't do it justice at ALL!!! So beautiful!!

Friday night, we got together at Tom and Emily's with Vince (HopeChest Director of Outreach and Partner Relations) and his wife Sara as well as Bob (HopeChest Chief Operating Officer) and his wife Julie. What a fun gang! We stayed up late into the night laughing hysterically as Greg told stories. . .(other people did too. .but they weren't quite as funny as Greg's). It was great to spend time as a group. I spend so much of my time talking to these men that it was wonderful to meet their wives! I just can't say enough about this team. . .we were so grateful that they welcomed us right into their homes and friendships. Spending time with them socially just cemented our love for them and for HopeChest as an organization.

The whole gang from Left to Right: Bob and Julie, Greg and I, Vince and Sara, Tom and Emily
The boys. . ..Greg, Bob, Vince and Tom (that's quite the hug, huh?!)

Greg and Vince were instant friends when we met up with Vince in NC a few months ago. We teasingly say they have a "bro-mance" and this weekend solidified that =)
Greg, Vince and Bob. . .we'd have more girls pictures but surprisingly enough the guys weren't grabbing our cameras saying "let's get another one of you girls"
Bob and Julie. . .just precious together. They are an amazing couple with 5 kiddos (2 adopted from the state) who follow Jesus passionately and live out what they say they believe. You would adore them. While they are certainly not the oldest, we still tease that Bob is the dad of the group. . .mostly because he's full of wisdom and we all respect him so much.
Saturday was spent with Vince and Sara. . just us 2 couples! What a fun double date!! They are a sweet couple who have given up everything to move to CO to serve the world with HopeChest. They were so sweet to open up their home to us (for a nice afternoon nap) and spend the day with us. We adore them already. They are FUN and they love Jesus pretty darn passionately! (a good combo, I'd say!) We headed to the "Garden of the gods" for some siteseeing. I forgot my camera though and no one was up for me asking a stranger to take a picture with my phone so this is the only pic I have. . .just the boys being silly again. They were trying to find bats in the caves (did you know bats always turn left when leaving a cave? =)
The view. . .need I say more? It's like this everywhere you drive!

Saturday night was at Bob and Julie's for a cookout. Unfortunately I didn't take any pictures! Loser, huh? We had a blast though. . .

We spent the night with Bob and Julie on Saturday night and Sunday morning we headed to "the Gathering" a church Bob and Julie have been checking out. After church, we met Vince and Sara and the kids for lunch. I actually got my camera out at this point because I knew you people would kill me without good pictures!

My BFF's. . .hehe I often tease that Vince and Bob are my best friends b/c I spend most of my day (that's not focused on my kiddos) working for or talking to these 2. They are godly men who I am thankful to call friends. If Bob is my dad, Vince is definitely my brother =)
Bob and Julie again. . wish I'd gotten a family picture including their sweet little ones!
This was supposed to be a picture of us girls. . but the guys had to but in !
Sara and I . . . the beginning of a long friendship, I hope =)
Thanks again, HopeChest gang for inviting us up for the weekend. You are a blessing not only to the world and the thousands of orphans who will have life and know Jesus because of your work. . but you are a blessing to us personally. We are thankful to call you friends. We are amazed that God would allow us the friendships of those who we regard so highly. Thank you for all you do and for who you are


Sandra said...

It is fun to read about your trip. I am glad you had a fun and productive time with the CH folks. The pics are great. And thanks for the tip about the bats! Note to self, "Never stand to the left side of a cave entrance."

Amy said...

LOVE the pics!! I of course knew you guys would have a blast together but it's fun to see it documented. :) And I agree...what a total blessing to know such wonderful people loving God with their lives and sacrificing for His purposes. I'm so glad to you got hang out with your extended family...although I have to admit I would have loved to have been there with you!! What a great crew! Love ya, Bran!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the weekend was all you hoped for and more!! I am glad you had such a great time with such wonderful people!! Love, Christie

Russ said...

where's the other half of Greg ... the dude is buffin' up! Happy you guys had a great trip!

Lindsey said...

Glad you had fun! SOOO glad you back, so you can be online more. :)