Saying Good-Bye

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to move to a different continent to share Christ’s hope with people who have never heard of Christ? For long-term workers, the practical implications are countless.

Think of your own situation: homes, vehicles and belongings would need to be sold or stored.

Think of everyone you know in your home country: all of your friends, family members, community contacts, church relationships – everyone. Think of all the arrangements that would need to be made.

Imagine just how many times you’d say good-bye.

While living and sharing the Good News abroad, life goes on at home. Couples get married, babies are born, birthdays and graduations are celebrated, and loved ones pass away. Long-term workers know they will miss every one of these milestones. Long-distance communication on Skype and Facebook is a meager substitute for a hug.

In addition to all of the concerns about forms, finances and friendships, there are questions about that unknown entity: the future. The very act of leaving home involves sacrifice and surrender. And despite many tears, these workers move forward in joy and confidence, taking a risk to obey God’s call.

As a Mission we are grateful for everyone in the world-wide MB family. We honor those working in foreign lands where the Gospel is not widely known. In summer 2011 we sent a new team to France, and in October a new team moved to a country in Asia. Each team is comprised of singles, married couples, and families with children.

Can I invite you faithful readers to pray? Please pray that they will adjust to language and culture and make new friends. Ask God to unify the teams and keep them safe. Pray also for the loved ones ‘back home’ who experience the absence in a personal way.

“Where could I go to escape from you? Where could I get away from your presence? If I flew away beyond the east or lived in the farthest place in the west, you would be there to lead me, you would be there to help me.” Psalm 139:7,9-10

[co-written with a colleague Kara Bergstrom: karab@mbmission.org ]

Tell me something:

Do you know a missionary recently left? Leave their names in a comment if it is safe to do so. Let’s get praying.

9 Responses to Saying Good-Bye

  1. My mom is finishing up MINA (Ministry in North America) & preparing to say good bye for another 3 years is… For lack of a better word… HARD. Trusting God takes on a whole new dimension. You could definitely pray for her (Sandy) to finish strong–finish sharing with her supporting churches & individuals about her small part in God’s story in Asia.

    • Praying for Sandy right now. Father may your presence be so real in Sandy’s life, that it confirms the missionary call you have on her life and tops her up with supernatural courage during these hard days of saying good bye.

      • Hey Sam,
        Thank you for sharing your link with me. I read it with God: ) Here is something that I read this morning and it encouraged my faith, I hope it will bless you too. I have been praying to God that I am tired of just listening to the miracles that HE IS DOING FOR OTHERS, WHEREAS I seem to not be getting much. I prayed that I wanted MY OWN STORIES OF GOD-ADVENTURE, and this can only happen when He invades my life and shakes things a bit: )
        So, God is writing a story with you, He is making history with you and Heidi and the children. He is FAITHFUL.This is a Speaker I had met some time ago, and the e-mails she sends me are usually timely, hope this encourages you too: )

        “Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess,
        for He who promised is faithful.
        And let us consider how we can spur one another on…”
        Hebrews 10:23-24

        It must have been quite a sight! The crowds swarmed around Jesus. There was an atmosphere of expectation.But, suddenly there he was…what a surprise: Jairus, the synagogue ruler was right down there on the ground at Jesus’ feet! All sophistication and prestigeabandoned, this man is desperately pleading with Jesus to come to his house to heal his ailing daughter who is in the terminal stage of a ravishing fever. Jesus consents to come and begins to move in the direction of the need. This passage in Luke 8:40-56 is filled with surprises! Suddenly the divine momentum is interrupted by a hand straining through the crowd to touch Jesus. He stops! Divine power is released and the woman is healed!

        Rarely do we preach these two stories together, but indeed, in reality they are woven into one. While we celebrate with the bold and daring woman who receives her miracle, we have to ask: “What about Jairus?” How was it for him when suddenly the divine momentum moving in the direction of his need stops! After all, it was his desperate pleading that put Jesus on the pathway in proximity of the woman! And, remember: time is of essence. The little girl is dying! Could not the miracle for the woman have waited even a few more hours? She’s been sick for 12 years and that’s the exact number of years the little girl has lived! Jairus’ worst fears are confirmed. While Jesus is engaged in what might have been a somewhat lengthy interview with the woman, the servant arrives to tell Jairus his daughter has died. Now, it’s too late for a miracle of healing. Oh, oh. We now have something worse then divine momentum being interrupted and delayed. We seem to have a circumstance of divine miscalculation!What is Jairus to do? What is Jairus to think about Jesus? How do we feel when we pray and someone else gets the miracle? What are we to conclude when we have desperate expectation but another individual or church or ministry has their breakthrough and our situation only gets worse? I have good news for Jairus and for all of us who are persevering in faith and expectation: “The One who healed that woman is on His way to your house!”

        The passage above in Hebrews 10 is all about perseverance but has a most significant “and” in the text which links my perseverance with my interaction with others around me. Jairus found out what can be our wonderful discovery: there’s more than enough in our wonderful God to meet all of our expectations. Someone else’s miracle doesn’t deplete God’s supply for me! Key to pressing all the way to the receiving of the promise is allowing someone else’s victory to spur me on…If I have a distorted image of God as One who gives preferred treatment to some or who is a God of limitation then I am at risk when someone else is blessed! However, just ask Jairus: there’s sufficient power and willingness of our God to heal the desperate woman and restore life to his situation! Don’t become discouraged by someone else’s blessing. Don’t revert to any lies about your God’s faithfulness and capacity to fulfill His promise to you! Be assured, the One who has just blessed someone else is on His way to your house!”
        With rejoicing,
        Rev. Peggy I. Kennedy

  2. I’ve been in B.C. for a few days of holidays, visiting my mom in a care home- she no longer knows my name or remembers that I am her daughter. Will I see her again in this life? That is the question we don’t like to ask and can’t answer anyway, but that always is there in our hearts as we leave our loved ones.
    When Trever & I l left so many years ago with our little children, to a land far away, we knew it would be hard to leave parents, siblings and friends behind. But to be honest, there is nothing more difficult that leaving your own children behind- that is the stage we are in now. And I know our dear friends D & S are about to do the same in just 2 days as they leave for I***a.
    Please pray for them.

  3. Jodi Vanderheide

    will be traveling to Ukraine,
    with CRM (Christian Reformed Mission)
    to spend 10 months serving a church plant, leading bible studies, prayer groups.. learning the language, and everything else being a missionary requires.

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