Friday, January 16, 2015

Farewells For Now

Final days of trips are strange things. There are so many emotions wrapped up into a period of time. So many experiences have been shared, and preparing to leave those behind is a grieving process in itself.

The past two weeks have been filled with incredible moments of God's presence. Through rural villages, ministry campuses, training facilities and many, many traffic jams there have been plenty of tears and laughs. We have seen God's faithfulness working in the lives of our partners, changing the world in tangible, sustainable ways.

Today Renee and I said goodbye to the team from C4 church, and our friend Anita. They are flying home to be with their families while we carry on to visit a few more partners. Breakfast was the usual curries potatoes and roti, but filled with meaningful reflection on God's goodness and encouragement for fellow team members. None of us will be the same after the ways God has used us and revealed Himself.

That is what I love about these trips... It changes us. We cannot be the same after what God has shown us.

The final day was spent running errands with Smita, but first visiting Mother's house, where Mother Theresa was based and is buried. An incredible testimony to an incredible woman who responded to God's calling on her life. There was a peace that rested over the place, which is remarkable in the midst of a city filled with darkness.

Soon after, we dropped the C4 team off at the airport for their long journey home. We met as near strangers, but we send them home as brother and sister. Even more, as friends. Ambassadors for our partners here who continue God's work in areas that have not heard the name of Jesus Christ. Advocates for pastors who have been rejected by everyone because of the name of Christ.

Though I have been with Partners for only 5 months, this is the heart of what we do. Laying down our own assumptions, we come alongside our brothers and sisters around the world and work together for God's Kingdom. We go deep in our own neighborhoods, and help our family go deep in their own. Together, we change the world one person at a time.

So it was a day of farewells... For now. Never a goodbye forever, because we have gained friends, and braved the streets of Bangladesh and India together!

God is good, and my stories will continue on. Tomorrow Renee and I visit Touch the Lives here in Kolkata. On Monday we fly to North Bengal to visit my good friends the Narjinary's. Follow me on the journey, because there are many more stories to tell!

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