Monday, August 11, 2008

A Two A.M. Goodbye

Jeff Anderson, the ACTION Philippines missionary, and his wife, Mary Ann, recently said goodbye to their daughter, Micah, who is in military service in Iraq, and are packing this week to return to the Philippines. In a letter, Jeff states the following: “You’d think that after almost 23 years of service in the Philippines leaving would get easier, but it doesn’t. Pray for us because our hearts are torn with family, friends and colleagues scattered throughout the world. However, we wouldn’t want our lives to be any other way. We obey His calling joyfully as missionaries in the Philippines.”

This morning at 2 a.m., our niece and her husband returned to the Philippines for their life in ministry there. Later, around 6 a.m., another niece and her husband returned for ministry in Afghanistan. It was difficult for their parents but they released them in sadness and gladness to the ministry that God has called them.

Mom and Dad Jespersen used to say that it was always hard to say goodbye to the many missionaries and friends who passed through their homes, and, later, their children serving Christ throughout the world.

All of us have greatly benefitted from those who have said goodbyes, even in sadness. For example, the Apostle Paul said goodbye to his friends, loved ones and church in Antioch as he left for his first missionary journey, from which all of us have benefitted with the Gospel!

We can be most thankful for the goodbye of God our Heavenly Father to His Son, Jesus, when He sent Him to this earth to be born, to live, and to die that we might know the glorious Gospel of salvation by grace through faith alone, and inherit eternal life.

Because God said His goodbye, we are going to receive a great hello in glory!

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