Bill and I had met at Camp Seafarer during the summer of 1987. The first time I saw him, he was talking on the phone in the Motorboating Hut. Those of you who know Bill will not be shocked at this, particularly since the unveiling of the new iPhone plays prominently in his current sermon series. Anyway, I thought he was really cute. He was one of about 15 guys who worked at this camp and I snagged him, although it wasn’t until several years later. I was in graduate school and he was teaching history. We dated for five months, got engaged, and decided it would be great to go back to Seafarer for one more summer. He ran the Motorboating Program and I was Head Counselor for Camp IV. We finished our work on August 17 and hustled back to Raleigh to tie together the last remaining details of our wedding – like settling on our music, finding a piano player, getting our program printed, deciding what to do with my nails, etc. Little did we know (or care, at the time) that during this week while we were running around Raleigh and opening lots of Villeroy and Boch china, Henckel knives, and a Kitchen Aid mixer, significant events were taking place in the USSR.
August 19, 1991 – Soviet Union collapses and Gorbachev is put on house arrest
August 20, 1991 – Estonia declares its independence
August 21, 1991 – Latvia declares its independence
August 24, 1991 – Ukraine declares its independence
I just don’t think that August 24, 1991 is a coincidence. So, here we are now, celebrating our country’s Independence Day with Katya.
Adelyn, Cameron, Sara Maria, Josiah
Piper, Katya, and Grace
And I can’t help but look ahead to August 24th of this year. Bill and I will be celebrating our 17th wedding anniversary and Ukraine will be celebrating 17 years of freedom from Communist rule. We’ll be thinking of our Ukrainian friends who are exulting in the liberty that has come at a high price. And we’ll be thinking of a sweet little seven-year-old who, during our country’s Independence Day Celebration, played in Bill’s lap, watched the fireworks, and called him “Papa.” And we’ll be praying for her to come to know the freedom bought with the highest price by Jesus who declared,
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me because He has annointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed, to proclaim the favorable year of the Lord.” Luke 4:18-19