A “We are Connected” Experience

About a year ago, we were debating whether or not to host an exchange student for the ’16-’17 school year. We weren’t quite sure, because we had an unusually full summer with a 10 day mission trip and the process of moving my mom to be closer to us. As we were debating and weighing the decision, I heard from my dear friend, Ulla, from Denmark.


First, the background scoop on Ulla. Ulla and I met in 1986 when she stayed with my cousins through a Lion’s Exchange Program. Then in 1987, I went through the same program to spend five weeks overseas, with three of those weeks spent with Ulla’s family. Ulla and I both had trips back and forth to see each other … until we had kids! The last time I saw Ulla was 1995!

After years of feeble attempts to keep up with snail mail, we have Facebook to thank for a virtual reunion that kept us better connected. Fast forward to last summer when I heard some exciting news from Ulla; she and her family are coming to visit this summer!

As I reflected on the wonderful friendship that has spanned decades and thousands of miles, I realized I had to give my family, and Kjersti, the same opportunity to build a lifelong friendship and lasting memories. So, last summer, four weeks before she arrived, we made the decision to open our home to Kjersti, and it has been a wonderful experience.

You can get introduced to Kjersti as she shares a bit of her experiences (including the unplanned mention of me getting pulled over) in our recent appearance on ND Today:


We all have those “We are Connected” moments and opportunities that can create lasting experiences. Be open to those. Take a risk. Step out of your comfort zone.

Mindset #3: We are Connected

Photo by Sidharth Bhatia on Unsplash