Our oldest son (Erich) left yesterday for a 9-week medical mission trip in Kenya, Africa.
He will be flying out of Indianapolis next Tuesday after a week of training.
I remember the day I finally gave in to Erich’s heart for missions. I remember it like it was yesterday. Erich was in high school when his spiritual mentor, Bill Leamon (who had led several trips to Mexico that Erich had taken), was tragically killed in a car accident just several hours after Erich had been visiting with him in his office at his job.
Bill was one of those men who treated everyone with passion and love. Erich adored him. He looked to him as a second father. The night after Bill was killed our church opened its doors so that people could come together and share what Bill meant to them and just be together in their shock and grief. I remember standing up and looking at Erich in front of the crowd and telling him that I supported his passion for missions and that whatever God called him to do, I would be there for him in whatever way I could. Life suddenly seemed so fragile from any perspective. Who was I to try and “overprotect” Erich’s life that was already so sold out on mission work.
Well, many years have passed since that sad day. Erich has been on several short mission trips since then. Now he is preparing to enter his senior year in nursing at Kentucky Christian University and part of his dream is to do hospital work in foreign countries. I know that Bill is cheering him on from Heaven.and I know that Nick and Adrienne are too!! And so many others who have gone before him. I took a little “photo journey” through our day yesterday…
Olivia left for school before Erich woke up! Look at Erich! He slept in his clothes, on the couch, with his glasses on, after staying up til nearly 3 finishing his last college paper for his summer class!! Olivia was saying “bye” before she headed to school!
Not the greatest quality photo, but this is my sweet, little Erich’s first Easter!!!
Erich burning one last CD of music for the long flight!!
Tim and Erich Tim, Erich, Me, and Evan (our second-oldest son) Erich and Me (I tickled him to make him smile this big!)
Erich and Michael Johnson (one of his best buddies from KCU)
Erich and Andrew (another great buddy from KCU)
Look how hard it is to get a “normal” picture of Erich with his brother!!!
FINALLY!!!! (Except Evan is tired of smiling by this point!)
This is Erich and Evan the way I remember them!!!!!!!!!!!! Erich turns around and grins and says,
“See you in August!!”
Erich can’t believe I’m still taking pictures!!!!
He’ll enjoy a break from my camera, I’m sure!!
Tim gives him one last piece of “fatherly advice!”
Got it, Dad!! By now, Erich is saying, “Mom, enough already!!”
Erich heads out of our driveway and into a big adventure…
We’re praying for you Erich! We miss you already!!
You are the best mom ever!!! I love you so much. I will be praying for Eric this summer.
I just love your photo journal!! The love that your family has for one another is so evident – and beautiful!! Will be great to see what God has planned for Erich in Africa!
Have you ever stopped by this blog
The lady farmer’s daughter is also spending the summer in Africa – just arrived. I thought of you – and her – when I read y’all’s posts.
Be brave today, Mom!! Love, Jennifer
I will be praying for Erich too! Be strong Mom…love you!!
Is he going with CMF???? I just sent a donation because I did an internship with them in 2000 and they are short for this summer and they sent an email to all alumni asking…That is simply fabulous to know that it is (possibly) going to help Mr. Erich…GOD BLESS HIS JOURNEY! And good job letting go Tammy! God bless!
He will have so much fun!! It is definately hard especially when they grow up so fast. I know there will be a bizillion hearts praying for him while he is following his dream! I know I will.
You look so small compared to your big strong Men. Thats the way it is in our house too. I am so much smaller than all of my children and husband.
What a cute little baby he was. All grown up and a mission to prove…..I know you are so proud of him and I am happy for him. xoxoChar
What a journey, I can’t wait to hear what God has in store for Erich!
I’ll be praying for your son, and you too. I know how difficult it is to let them go. You are an awesome mom Tammy!
Tammy- Bill Leamon was such a great man. Know that he will be beside Erich every day and keep him safe. Praying for you all.