Wednesday, May 30, 2012

May - In Florida, PA and Cayambe!

Our May started with a visit with Glenn's parents and his sister and her family in Florida...
We celebrated some birthdays and Glenn's parents' 56th anniversary and just enjoyed being together!

Most of the Wittmann/Pettitt girls enjoyed an early Mother's Day Tea together!

Then we headed to Pennsylvania...
We had special times as a family - here, celebrating the end of Rachel and Josh's finals at a park...
and here, in front of Rachel's West Chester home, on our way to her college graduation ceremony!
There were close to 2000 West Chester University graduates, but we spotted her in the crowd!
We were thrilled to be there and to celebrate with Rachel and with Susie's sister, Gail, her husband, Jeff, and with Josh - who have been such a support to Rachel in our absence!
We celebrated Josh's 21st birthday as a family too!
 We had the joy of seeing both of our children at work!  Gail and Jeff joined us for an amazing meal with excellent service (especially by the cute little bus girl!) at Gilmore's where Rachel works, and then Glenn and I watched Josh teach two classes of soccer with Soccer Shots...
Josh first taught some 5-8 year olds...
and then some adorable 3-4 year olds!  What fun!

Besides wonderful family times in PA, we were blessed to see some special friends on our brief visit..
Chris and Despe Sterious
Matt and Missy O'Malley with their two wonderful girls and newborn son!
Mike and Kari Morby with their awesome daughter and newborn son!
God also blessed us with the joy of seeing Peter and Shannon Baille and meeting their JUST born daughter!
While we were away Gissela worked hard with our youth in a Bible Competition with our association of churches.  We rejoiced with them when we heard how well they did - 2nd place overall!
Several church leaders and their families cheered on the youth as they recited memorized verses, answered Bible questions and taught Bible lessons!
When we returned to Cayambe we were able to attend a very special Ecuadorian celebration! 
The "Oath to the Flag of Ecuador.  Pledging faithfulness to the National Flag is the duty of every Ecuadorian, in an act full of patriotism and patriotic emotion.  All high school seniors are to commit themselves to be faithful to their country as the center of all activities."
Here, at Nelson Torres, the largest public high school in Cayambe, 425 seniors participated in the ceremony.
Three of the seniors attend the Primero de Mayo Church youth group, and it was a joy to celebrate with them and their families!
"In few moments the sacred tricolor flag shelters you, and you with your heart full of patriotism will be able to express the sublime phrase of commitment to the country, to answer in audible voice the requirement of the authorities – “Yes I vow!” In that is enclosed loyalty and respect for the patriotic symbols which represent the three values most esteemed of men and women- God, country and conscience."

It was a solemn ceremony, but a joyful celebration afterwards...much like a US graduation where pictures were taken with the many family members and friends who attended, and with classmates!