Our YWAM Nampula Team
Praying blessings over our friends!
Moving Truck (Mozambican Style!)
This morning, we said our final goodbyes to our dear friends and teammates and I watched them head off to their new adventure with a little lump in my throat. Some of these folks I've known since my first trip to Mozambique in 2006. Others I've known since my very earliest days in Mozambique. And, some, I've only had the opportunity to know since I came to Lichinga in 2013. However, they are all dear, sweet friends and I will miss the greatly.
I will miss their wisdom and friendship. I will miss sharing meals and doing life with them. I will miss their sweet children who have all been a part of my school over the last three years. I will miss the precious faces of my little friends, their laughter, their hugs, their persistent questions, "Tia, Jennifer, can we....?"
In my flesh, I want to scream about the unfairness of it all. I mean, all of you know what it's like to say goodbye to someone whether it be forever or just because distance is creating a void. Things were just fine the way they were. Our team was healthy and happy and we valued their place on our team. In a missionary's life, life is often marked by goodbye on one side of the ocean or the other and it is a word you come to dread.
However, God moved in some pretty grand ways to take this team to Nampula - a place where there is no YWAM base and where there are people desperate for the truth of the Gospel. So, I'm excited for all the possibilities and plans that God has for them and the Makonde people.
There will certainly be a void for awhile as our team adjusts and evens out again. Some of these folks have been here for over 15 years. Lori and Victor met and married here. Within the walls of the DTS, some of these folks learned to love Jesus and each other. Leaving was a significant step as well. But, I have to be confident that this "see you later" is for the benefit of the kingdom and that little "hiccup" in our hearts is so worth the soul of another.
Every sacrifice that it is made for the cross of Christ is undoubtedly worth it. Whatever price we pay to know Jesus, to show His love, share His light, and spread His grace is so very small. He gave all and, surely so can I. The answer to the Savior - whatever He may ask - is always, always, yes.
However, I do long for the day when there are no more goodbyes (whether temporary or permanent). I long for the day when I do not struggle so with my old man. When hurt is something I don't really even remember because I am with the One who loved all my hurt away. What a glorious day, when I can hug the ones I've loved and lost. I welcome the day when evil, and selfishness, and sin no longer rule the day and it is no longer necessary to pay the ultimate price to name the name of Jesus. How beautiful will that day be when the only thing on my agenda is loving and worshipping my Savior.
With the tumult in our world, the evil, and all the chaos I believe that we are living in those last moments. Maybe those "last moments" will be a few years, maybe it will be fifty - or even more. But, it is evident that our world is spiraling downward and losing all sight of the One who came to save them.
On the day of goodbyes, that I wish I didn't have to be said, I want to encourage you that nothing you give up or do without will even matter for a millisecond when you see HIS face. In fact, I'll bet we will all wish that we gave more and sought our on pleasure less. No earthly gain will have any significance in that moment. All that will matter will be Him and those we helped to know Him.
So, please, be ever diligent in hearing His still small voice. Say goodbye. Give more. Love selflessly. Value souls over things. He is coming and all this regret and sadness and difficulty will pass. What will remain are those who will worship Jesus forever with us. May we all invest in the expansion of that forever kingdom and its forever God.
Nothing else matters. Nothing else at all.