Yesterday was our official commissioning during the service at our sending church, Grace Point in Adrian, Michigan! Our pastors and elders stood us before the congregation and made it official, Grace Point Church is sending Tom & Beth Carlton to Papua New Guinea. On their behalf, and with their support, we will be messengers of God’s grace to people who have never had a chance to hear of it.
For the commissioning prayer, instead of just the pastors and elders praying over us, they invited anyone from the congregation to come up to the front and be a part. We can’t even put it into words, but it was a huge encouragement to our hearts being surrounded by so many people whom we love very dearly. It was so wonderful to know that we have the prayers and support of our church body. We praise the Lord for the many relationships we have there that will stick with us for a life time. We really cannot do this alone and are thankful that we aren’t!
After the church service the Mission Team had a reception for us where people could come and say an official goodbye. This was really sweet and thoughtful, but it was also very emotional. Of course it is always hard to say goodbye. I kept trying to say “see you later” as a way to deal with the sadness. We LOVE our church family and they will be dearly missed. Even though we will be far away, they will be in our prayers and on our minds until we see them again! (You can learn more about our church here…)