Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Friend 2- My Adopted Sister

Name: Shannon Rachelle
Age: 18
Relationship: "Adopted Sister"

Hand in Hand
I officially adopted Shannon as my little sister. We decided this while walking down the lane from our safari hut to the dinner hut in the wild mountains of Africa. Shannon said she always wanted a big sister. I told her that when I watched her it was like looking at myself four years ago. Except... I pray that the hardships I have encountered in the last four years will help her avoid making the same mistakes.

All About Shannon
Siblings: 7; Caleb, Chloe, Breann, Samuel, Sadie, Trevor and William
Hobbies: Worship Dance, reading, being with her family, being with homeschooling friends, baking, Springerle molds, hide-and-go-seek in the dark, missions and more!
Movies: I am not sure what her favorite movie is, but I know she enjoys the following: Anne of Green Gables, Sense and Sensibility, Pride and Prejudice and any other good chick flick.
Dreams: Get married, have a dozen children, be a midwife missionary and go back to Africa.
Nickname: Shanny (I have heard her family call her something else but I cannot remember it!)

Cheyenne Frontier Days- meetings, practice, clowning, teaching Eric dance moves, video evangelism (Shannon is AWESOME!), rodeo and Grandma's house.

New Year's Eve- Food, worship, games, hide-and-go-seek in the dark, sparklers and families!

Africa- Too much to say here! Ummm... Orphanages, pastors, dancing, children, heat, food, bug bites, Swahili lessons, walk in Babati, Safari, scaring Stacey, Dutch Blitz in Holland, Amsterdam pancakes, home!!!

Practical Joke Participant
On the note of Africa... one of my funniest memories of Shannon happened while were scaring Stacey. This is definitely worthy of more details:

Meet five kind, loving, good, Christian homeschooling friends: Ben, Bethany, Darrah, Shannon and Jaclyn. They have just been through two exhausting weeks of ministry and missions. They are tired. They are hungry for familiar food. They are relaxing on an African safari. They are feeling mischievous.

Meet the unsuspecting victum: Stacey. She was a third-party participant on the mission trip. Most of the team met her at the airport when they left. She was fun-loving, outgoing, mid-twenties and had voiced fears of being on a safari. She was particularly afraid that lions would attack the tents at night.

During dinner, with Stacey sitting at one end of the table and the friends at the other, they devise a ruthless plan. (The debate continues as to who had the idea in the first place!) Darrah, who was sharing a tent with Stacey, voiced that she would act normal as they readied for bed. The signal for the others would be when their light went off. With most decisions finalized, they finished dinner quickly, rushing off to practice and perfect the scheme.

The safari tents were situated in such a way that it was perfectly possible to walk up without being heard. It was dark. It was late. It was quiet. The four friends gather at the walkway entrance to Darrah and Stacey's tent. They stand 15 yards away trying not to laugh. The light clicks off and the tent goes black. Ben holds a flashlight, to remain off unless absolutely needed. Jaclyn holds a blanket for strategic "rustling grass". Shannon hold a water bottle for "comedy effect". Ben and Bethany prepare their feet. They had practiced their stomp to be as loud and rythmic as possible.

They sneak around the side of the tent to where Stacey and Darrah's heads lie inside. The stomping becomes louder. Ben snorts and growls. Jaclyn swishes the coat in the brush. Ben reaches his long arm, as they all surpress laughter, towards the tent to the very place where Stacey's head should be. He begins a quiet scratching and progressively gets louder. Suddenly Ben stops and nods his head toward Shannon. Slowly Shannon pours the bottle of water out on the ground. When she is done Ben gives a satisfied snort. (Shannon was about ready to DIE of laughter!!!)

The friends hear a voice. The voice belongs to Stacey as she frantically yells for our team leader, "Dave!" Then all becomes quiet again. We begin our animal impersonation again and she cries, "DAVE! CAROL! (Pause) DAVE! CAROL!" At this point the group outside cannot contain their giggles. They move toward the door... and BURST into laughter!

The entrance to the tent is opened to reveal a truly scared Stacey and a laughing Darrah. Darrah had played along with Stacey's fright, even saying things like, "Do you hear that?" and "It sounds like it is right outside our tent." Stacey shares that the place where Ben was scratching was at the exact spot where she had placed her snacks. Duh, Ben knew that for he had been in her tent during the planning.

Stacey tells the friends," I never would have guessed that you five, Christian, nice, Godly... and especially HOMESCHOOLED friends were capable of pulling off such a grand plan."

We have it all on video too.

Mission Minded
Anyone who meets Shannon cannot help but learn one thing about her. After talking with her for five minutes it shines through. She is passionate about missions. Missions at home and missions abroad. She has a love for culture, people and spreading God's fame. I remember talking to Shannon while in Africa. On this particular day we had been served a half a dozen warm sodas. Some members on our team were beginning to openly complain. Not Shannon. Shannon drank every single one. She knew that the natives had provided us with a treat. A treat that probably cost them a great deal.

So there is my Shannon. A treasure. A beauty. A friend. There is so much more that I could say about her. I love you Shannon!

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