LeadingSmart

Practical Stuff for Church Leaders

The Reason We Are in Croatia

Last week as we were getting ready to leave for Croatia, I was asked a hundred times where we were going. I think they expected me to say Lake Michigan or Iowa or something. What they didn't expect was for me to say, "Croatia." So why are we in Croatia?

One reason: Paula (pictured on left above).

Two summers ago our entire family fell in love with Paula Pedic, a foreign exchange student from Croatia. It wasn't a plan, it kind of just happened. A neighbor who worked with the Rotary Club told us they were looking for a family to host a student, my girls got a hold of the file, and before I knew it they had already contacted Paula on Facebook and the deal was done. Upon her arrival in August 2010, it took us all about 2 days to "adopt" Paula as a member of our family. Megan and Paula quickly became best of friends (they both turned 16 that year). The girls began asking if Megan could make a summer visit to Paula's home this year, which we thought would be impossible. But after a larger-than-expected tax refund--we were able to make it work.

We didn't want to send Megan to a foreign country by herself, and we knew we wanted to take a "Tim/Faith Alone" vacation sometime this year--so we decided to combine the trips. Faith and I would fly with Megan to Croatia, drop her with Paula's family in Zagreb, fly on to Dubrovnik for a 6-day vacation alone, then drive back up the Adriatic Sea coast to join Megan and Paula's family for the final 4-days in Zadar. So far it is working out slendiferously (yes, it's a word). We have grown to love Paula's entire family, and I know our connection to the Pedic family will be life-long.

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