Saturday, April 20, 2013

Farewells and Farewells.....

So hard to believe that we only have 5 nights left in South Africa.  The time has gone by so fast.  We have had 2 farewells in the past 2 days.  On Friday, Kody led his last session at the Soup Kitchen.  This past month he has gone through the book of Philippians.  The men have been very attentive and enjoyed hearing how Paul was able to be content and find joy regardless of his circumstances.  Joy comes through Jesus Christ alone and not from our circumstances.  The men came up individually to Kody at the end and said some very nice things.

We just returned tonight from the farewell at our church, Northmead Baptist Church.  It was so bittersweet.  We have made so many wonderful memories there and have seen God do amazing things.  To see the way that the youth have grown in their faith these past 2 years is priceless.  They each got up and read something that they had prepared and it was very touching.  It was an emotional evening.  One of the senior women in the church wrote a poem that we wanted to share:

Americans are odd folks; they live by a different code.
They 'speak funny' and they drive on the wrong side of the road.
It gets worse, they're also somewhat backward, the metric system not yet embraced.
We often wonder how they managed to put a man in space.
As for rugby and cricket!  That remains a mystery,
they are not part of their sporting history.
In spite of, or because of this, we hold you very dear.
We thank you Kody for your messages, they came through loud and clear.
It is a privilege and honor to have you in our midst.
Mere words cannot express how greatly you'll both be missed.
Bidding farewell is always tinged with pain,
But we have the glad assurance, that we will meet again.
God's timing is always perfect
He knew we had a need
For a person of your caliber to minister to the youth at Northmead.
So as we say farewell, we want you to know
Our thoughts and prayers go with you
As we prepare, to see you go.
Hamba Kahle! (Zulu for 'Go Well')  Tot Siens! (Afrikaans for 'Till We See You Again')
Ons het julle baie lief! (Afrikaans for 'We Love You Very Much') 
Ons sal julie nooit vergeet nie! (Afrikaans for 'We Shall Never Forget You')
We shall never forget our time here and the special people the Lord placed in our paths.  We love you all and will continue to keep you in our prayers!