New Friends in New Places

I was tempted to lick my fingers, but instead, I chose to grab my napkin. Our new Croatian friends in Michigan had invited us to eat at their home.

“Dobar dan!” we said in Hrvatski as we entered their home. He, his wife and son greeted us with warm and welcoming smiles. Our family was excited to have an entire evening with a Croatian family since this will be the people group we are reaching. We were eager to know what makes them laugh, how they interact with friends and each other, what types of food they like to eat, and their insights on the Croatian culture.

Our friends treated us to authentic Croatian dishes from the homeland, cooking with Croatian seasonings and baking traditional desserts loved by many among our new people group. I was a bit nervous about how the food would taste and if my children would like it — this was their first experience eating a Croatian meal and would either add to their excitement or worries of moving to another country. It was a big success! The children loved the food and had seconds of the dessert.

Even greater success was our interaction with our newly made friends. Gabe and I left their home with a feeling of joy and hope, along with a deep sense that God is building our love for the Hrvati people. Our evening was just a glimpse of the Croatian culture, but we are already growing in respect and admiration for the people and place where God is leading us. Blagoslovi! Blessings!

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