After several weeks of trying to wrap our minds around some pretty interesting languages, our final homework assignment has been turned in. Graduation is tomorrow!
Before we leave for the summer we still need to pack and give our apartment a good cleaning. And then we have to start saying goodbye! Goodbyes are never easy. We have spent this past year with people from all over the country as well as some from other parts of the world.
Several of our friends here have endured the heartache of losing children due to late-term miscarriage or stillbirth. Several of our instructors are here because they had to be evacuated from their country of service due to civil war. Some of our fellow students are struggling with painful physical conditions or handicap.
Others have, in the past, experienced the tragic death of a family member while on the field. Many families have sold everything to come into the training while others have lived this past year not knowing if they were going to have enough money for food for the next week. What do all of these people have in common? They understand that Christ commanded all believers to be involved in spreading the Gospel. Their committment to do this, despite pain and hardship, is humbling and challenging.
Every day we have lived alongside of these people. We have learned from them in so many ways. And now we must say goodbye. Our friends are heading all over the world to take God’s message of redemption to people who have never had the chance to hear. Some of them are pilots, some will be dorm parents or teachers, some will buy supplies for missionaries in the tribe, some are nurses, and some will serve as tribal church planters. All of them are ordinary people who desire to serve God using the gifts He has given them. Even though we may never see them again this side of heaven, we are grateful for the impact they have had on our lives.