I played UNO tonight, and thought of you. I taught your rules to the kids I was playing with, as well as the Croatian words for “yellow” and “green.” I couldn’t remember the words for “red” and “blue.”
Playing that card game made me miss you all. All my students. All my friends. The ones I call my “Croatian family.”
I can’t go back to Croatia this year. I get a little heart-broken when I think about that. But you see, English class ends on the day my fiance and I get married. I’m really, really excited about getting married. I wouldn’t move this wedding date for anything. But if I could take the whole summer off and fly to Croatia anyway, I would. But I can’t. Not this year.
I will miss you. I will miss your curiosity, your energy, your eagerness. I will miss the sound of your language, which I was beginning to understand just as I left last summer. I will miss your wildness. I will miss your smiles and the drawings you would leave me on the chalkboard after class.
I will miss drilling vocabulary words. I will miss telling you stories about Jesus.
I will miss listening to you talk about the things that are important to you.
So, remembering all those things you told me you wished for, I wish for you the following:
That you will get to go to America one day. Because you all told me you wanted to do that.
That you will all get to visit Britain one day, because you all wanted to do that, too.
And the one girl who wanted to go to Brazil–I hope you go.
I hope you get the jobs of your dreams. I hope you make friendships that will last forever.
And if I could bring you all over here where I am, if only to make you feel as at home as you’ve made me feel every summer for the last three years, I would. In a second.
And I wish you’d all get to know God in the way I know Him. Because He loves you far more than I ever could.
All the best,