Our Texas-Sized Sendoff for Jeff, Jenny and Jack
Who they are: Jeff and Jenny are our dear, sweet, super-close, super fun friends we’ve known and loved for the past five years. We met just after we started going to Allen Bible, and just after they got back from their honeymoon! Over the past five years we’ve started a lifegroup together,
gone to Alaska (just the boys) together,
took a cruise to Mexico with them,
had countless Christmas, Thanksgiving, LOST, Halloween, you name it, we’ve had it kind of parties with them,
Jeff and Jenny are the friends who are easy to be friends with because they are so open and real. Jeff the hilarious, say anything he thinks and make us laugh in semi-shock, and Jenny the sweeter than sweet do anything for you kind of girl. Jenny’s the one I call for all my parenting crisis's, and one I’ve gone to so many times for prayer, advice, and to share my “oh my gosh I can’t believe Tristan just did this” kind of stories with. They’ve lived less than three minutes away from us for the past four years and have been tried and true friends to Justin and I. We just LOVE them, can you tell?!
What they’re doing : Over these past several years, God has been tugging on their hearts for orphaned children in Romania. Jenny and Jeff have both been on separate trips, and trips together to work with Livada Orphan Care running summer camps for orphaned children there. Each time they came back, you could see the passion in their voices and eyes for these precious children. About two years ago, they shared with our lifegroup their hopes and God given convictions about moving to Romania to work with Livada for a two-year stint. For these past two years, they’ve been praying, speaking, fundraising and preparing to go “one day.” Well, that day has finally come! Jeff, Jenny and baby Jack will leave for Romania on September 8th, to serve as youth pastors for Livada for two years! I’m so so so proud of them for stepping out and following where God is leading them. It’s amazing to watch them give their life over here to God, being near family and friends, to follow him in serving these children overseas.
How we got to CELEBRATE and send them off: our lifegroup who has become more like family, decided to host a TEXAS sized send-off party for the McDonnells as our last “see ya later” celebration before they moved. Here’s a pic of our crazy big lifegroup who hosted it! I love getting pics of us ALL together at once!
We had so much fun planning all the cowboy decorations and food, putting together a slideshow of all the hilarious pictures over the past five years, and making a book of letters and pictures from us to send with them.
We had so much fun at the party, and so many friends came to see them off…
I almost forgot the hardest part was coming up…saying “see ya later” to our sweet friends. Although we’ve known they would be leaving for years now, actually hugging their necks one last time before they left was really hard! I cried my little eyes out thinking about not seeing them for a while, but at the same time I know this is what they are supposed to be doing. Thank God for things like Skype and Facebook so it won’t seem like they’re so far away!
Jeff, Jenny and Jack, you know how much we LOVE you guys! Although we’re going to MISS YOU so much, we know God has amazing plans for you and is going to use you to impact so many children’s lives over these next two years. I’m honored to be able to partner alongside you in this new adventure you are about to begin!