Boston is one of the oldest and largest cities in America, but it’s not because it was founded in 1630 or because it has a commuting region of 6.7 million people that gives it gravitas. NY’s Big Apple may be the financial and cultural center of the U.S., but Boston is the undisputed academic nerve-center of our country and really has been ever since the founding of Harvard (our first and still most revered institution of higher learning) in 1636. Today, there are 60 institutions of higher learning in metropolitan Boston enrolling nearly a quarter of a million students! Just recently, our youngest son, Joel, swelled that number by one. He’s beginning a 5-year PhD program in literature at Northeastern University, and so Alan and I went out to visit for a few days. Although Joel is studying and teaching at Northeastern, he lives in a Christian community that’s part of the Longwood Medical Area. He shares a home with 6 other young adults who are all in the medical field. As a mother, I’d been praying for a safe environment with good fellowship for my youngest, and you can’t imagine my delight to know that Joel now sits down to dinner on Sunday evenings in a “family” of 7 siblings, of whom he is the youngest (as he was in our home as the youngest of 7 siblings). While we were in Boston, Joel not only showed us all around his campus, he also took us to visit the Boston Public Library, which is the second- largest library in the country (behind only the Library of Congress). The Boston Public Library is one of Joel’s favorite places to write, and I can see why! During our stay, we also spent an evening in the MFA (Museum of Fine Arts), walked the Freedom Trail, toured the Massachusetts State House, spent a day relaxing in Cape Cod, accidentally happened upon the “M” Fest (“Marijuana”) at the Boston Commons Sunday after church, and even discovered Boston’s Emerald Necklace. (Have you ever heard of that?) We had so much fun that it might keep me busy for a few weeks telling you all about it, and I’m going to make a new category for my posts called “Boston Adventures,” since I’m guessing that over the next 5 years Alan will be doubly interested in checking out Boston medical meetings! May the Lord bless and keep Joel—and the millions of young men and women who are away from home studying. If you are away from home in school, or have a beloved young person away from home, or know that before long your son or daughter will be needing to leave home for further training or employment, may I encourage you with Boston’s motto? Sicut patribus sit Deus nobis (Latin): “As God was with our fathers, so may He be with us.” God is able; it’s our responsibility to trust and pray!“Preserve me, O God; for in thee do I put my trust…The LORD is the portion of mine inheritance and of my cup; thou maintainest my lot. The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage…I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved…Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.” (Psalm 16:1,5-6,8,11).