Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Saying Goodbye

Granddaughter Alain's goodbye card
People demonstrate and express "I love you" in a wide variety of ways.  Some with those three amazing words.  Some with hugs or small significant gifts.  Others speak their language of love by acts of service.  My mother in law is multilingual when it comes to love.  She wants to tell me, hug me, give me something, and get me some food to eat!  She says she will even miss me.

Saying goodbyes ... knowing that the next physical hello will have to wait for six months ... always seems to cause expressions of love to bubble to the surface.  Pam and I sure feel loved by our family and friends here in the States.  This last week has put that old familiar bitter sweet taste in my mouth.  Excited anticipation and sadness make strange bed fellows.  One the one hand my spirit is refreshed and my focus is turning to our relationships waiting for us in Uganda.  On the other hand I don't want to let go of my granddaughters hand or have her move off of my lap.

Wow ... melted my heart
I was working with her mother last Saturday and Elaina (9 years old) slid silently into my office.  She quietly slipped a homemade card on the desk and vanished.  It was predominantly designed in the colors of the Uganda flag and contained a message from her heart that brought moisture to my eyes. Yeah ... it's hard to say goodbye.  Instead of the common self centered desires most people struggle with when people leave them, here was my granddaughter bringing me love, affirming my going, and encouraging me.  What amazing maturity for her to underscore the "call" of God on my life.

It also helped me say goodbye to our oldest granddaughter Blair. She is off on a faith adventure of her own.  Tomorrow morning she boards a plane here in Portland to fly to Casper, Wyoming where she will be living with good friends of ours, looking for a job, and touching as many lives for Jesus as she can.  Thanks to all of you who encouraged her, gave her valuable advice, sent her a devotional book on faith, and invited her to come and live with you!

Pam and I served dinner to about 50 people in our house  this past Sunday evening so that we could say goodbye to them.  We NEVER get enough time with these people who have walked with us SO long.  Some have been sojourners with us for a quarter of a century.  The following morning, yesterday, one of them posted this prayer for Pam and me.  Thanks Sam.
May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you
Wherever He may send you
May He guide you through the wilderness
Protect you through the storm
May He bring you home rejoicing
At all the wonders He has shown you
May He bring you home rejoicing
Once again into our doors
We love you
Our current video expresses our 2012 mission as we look forward to leaving Friday.  We intend to display the glory of Jesus as we love the people of Uganda.  As the song used on the video says, "I'll be my brother's keeper so the whole world will know that we're not alone."  Love will hold us together ... in more ways than one.  See you from the other side.

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