We’re moving on Thursday, which means that yesterday was our last Sunday in the Lou, which means that yesterday was also our last Sunday with our church family at Kirk of the Hills Presbyterian Church. We experienced a roller-coaster of emotions, but more than anything else were simply overwhelmed by the love and support of our friends at the Kirk, and we overflow with thankfulness to our heavenly Father for them. Michael Hall, our friend, boss, and mentor for the last several years read Paul’s prayer from Philippians 1 in Sunday School – a prayer that I had prayed for my 7th and 8th grade D-group just 3 weeks earlier, and I wanted to share it with you. Paul says of his beloved friends and Philppi:
I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. It is right for me to feel this way about you all, because I hold you in my heart, for you are all partakers with me of grace, both in my imprisonment and in the defense and confirmation of the gospel. For God is my witness, how I yearn for you all with the affection of Christ Jesus. And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.
(Philippians 1:3-11 ESV)
I am sure that this was just the first of many painful goodbyes (we had to see off our good friends the Luptons just a few hours later), but the pain of these goodbyes soon gives way to joy as we consider how deeply we loved and have been loved. If we can pass on even a fraction of the love and hospitality we have experienced from you guys, we know that both the Japanese and the MTW MKs in Asia Pacific will profoundly experience the love of Jesus. Thank you Jesus for such good friends, and thank you Kirk for all you have meant to us. May he who began a good work in you carry it on to completion!