Sunday, May 20, 2007

Saying Goodbye well

One of the tips that I received at the missions conference I attended in early April was that I need to learn “how to say goodbye well.”
Call it the first of many lessons…

Since I am going to move away from my family and friends for the first time later this year, saying goodbye well is crucial. And since I have never really had to say goodbye before, I have no idea how to do this. But apparently being able to do this well will really help my transition to my new culture in Bolivia.

And with about six months left here in the states this process begins now. I wrote in an earlier post about my transition away from Buckhead Church to Holy Cross Anglican Church in Loganville. I mentioned in the post that I was bummed that I would not have the opportunity to say goodbye to my second graders at Buckhead who I have worked with this past year.

I was all set to miss my first real opportunity to say goodbye but my leader at Buckhead told me that it would be really great if I could stop by at least one more time before the summer to say goodbye to my kids. Now why didn't I think of that?

I would have totally missed this opportunity if God had not worked through Miss Peggy to suggest that I stop by one more time. I was just going to move on with my life and NOT say goodbye.

Well, today was the last day at church for the kids before the summer break and it turned out that I was able to stop by and say goodbye. And I am so glad that I did.

My bro Jonathan from my men’s small group is also a leader with the kids at church and we combined our groups today so I could show them some pictures from my mission trip and talk to them about me moving to Bolivia and working with kids just like them there. Jonathan also did an amazing job sharing about what I am going to do and sharing how it actually tied in to all the virtues we studied with the kids this past year. He was great. And Jonathan also led the kids in a prayer for me and for the kids in Bolivia that I will be working with. (Thanks man. That was a true blessing.)

And, to my surprise, a few kids knew exactly where Bolivia was. A few kids’ parents had been there on mission trips. And ALL the kids shared my frustration that there is no Chick-fil-A in Bolivia…

I just thank God for giving me the opportunity to say goodbye to these kids that I spent an hour with every Sunday over the last year. He taught me the importance of saying goodbye well today. I pray I don’t miss the next opportunity to say goodbye.

I pray He blesses each of these kids and I pray that they continue to grow closer to Him daily.

Here are a few photos to mark the occasion:

A few kids from my group...

All our kiddos...

And of course we have to do a crazy photo...

“Goodbye Chelsee, Frank, Brooks, Britton, Will, Damon, Grace, Matthew, Miles, Tucker, Brady, Alex and Margaret…I will miss you.”

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