Dear Katie --
Most every year for your birthday or Christmas, we've given both you girls gifts that represent being on the move - maps, globes, flashlights, headlamps, etc. Our hope is that these gifts would spur bravery in you, that they would catalyze enough courage for you to chart your way into the unknown. Adventure, which requires courage and bravery, is inherent in a life of faith.
You've certainly had a year of adventure alright. And we've been inspired by all of it - going to school 7000 miles away, applying yourself to new learning, building deep friendships with people from far cultures, seeing new people in new cities. It has been hard to imagine, as your parents, being more thrilled at what you are doing - the Lord has placed you in the perfect place. But of course, as your parents, adventure sometimes worries us. So maybe we need some of those maps and globes for ourselves.
But the world is not moved by the ordinary. It is moved by the passionate, the brave, the courageous, the ones willing to take steps into the unknown. In that sense, a faith and adventure filled life is not just for you. It might be also for those that don't understand passion or beauty or sacrifice or courage.
So we will continue to worry a little. But we also could not wish for anything more than for you to adventure on. Happy 19th!