This morning the people of Portland Open Bible Church gave me a beautiful farewell service. Pastor Scott briefly preached the final verses of Colossians in which Paul gives thanks for many in his life.
Various church members spoke and sang. There were very kind words spoken by one of my teen helpers, a former Sunday school teacher, an elder and current Sunday school teacher, and Pastor Phil. And the songs were beautiful, especially those sung by the children. One young lady sang an acapella solo for me. So precious.
And then there were gracious sacrificial gifts given to me. To say I am overwhelmed by the gifts, cards, kind words, music, and hugs would be an understatement.
This love is what has helped me endure some challenging seasons over the years. And it has kept me on stable ground during seasons of great blessing.
I took a moment to share a few of my thoughts with the people. I told them I love them, and that I am grateful. I challenged them to work together to come alongside parents, raising up the children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. And I thanked them from the bottom of my heart.
One last Sunday awaits me before I take extended time to seek God’s direction for my immediate next steps. Next Sunday I will work with the children as normal. Loving them. Encouraging them. Maybe shedding a tear or two, but surely laughing a lot as well.
My life is further simplified. My pack is set in order and ready for the journey ahead. I have only to don my cloak to face the elements. To face my future.
Break camp and advance….