Well, I suppose I do understand the answer to this title (and a great song)..... because, for many, this week seems like one of so many goodbyes. And though it's only goodbye for a little more than a year; it's still significant. But, I realized tonight that amidst the hugs, handshakes, prayers, and goodbyes there are an equal amount of hello's on the other side. In a short three days I'll be saying hello to dear friends that I've missed and prayed for for nearly two years now, and to many new brothers and sisters in Christ. And the thought of the hello's makes the goodbyes much easier. God has promised to complete the good work he began in each of us; and I believe that each season of our life needs to be lived in light of that promise. I can rest assured, knowing that God has called me to a life of ministry in Asia for this next season of life, and that as long as I remain faithful to that which He has called me to, He will take care of the rest.....what a blessing to have faith in that; to be able to trust a God who never lets us down. I may not understand everything He's doing, but I know He knows best..... praise God!!!
Two days away from my departure, and things are coming along quite well. Things are being packed, goodbyes are being said, passport photos being printed and the like. Thank you to all who've wished me well on my journey, and especially for your prayers. Last week our family visited extended family (from both sides) in Illinois and Michigan. As we were together with one side of the family (all the aunts and uncles, and a couple cousins), they took time to pray for/over me. What a blessing to have family (on both sides) that I know are praying daily, and who support the idea of my mission work! I sat in a room filled with people who love me deeply, and was amazed at God's incredible grace as I was overwhelmed by the prayers sent up on my behalf. We serve a God who's so worthy of our gratitude, and I'm becoming more and more aware of that as I grow closer to Him.
I've found out still more about some specifics from Brent (the Discipleship school leader) about our school. We have two other female staff (a third might be joining); a woman from Singapore (who speaks fluent Chinese and English), and a woman from Taiwan (whose English is ok). Both are in their thirties. The woman from Singapore was on staff of the last DTS, and the Taiwanese woman is a first-time staff like me. So, the make-up of our staff will be diverse and interesting, but I'm very excited!! :) Also, a random side-note, I found out that I will be cooking much more than I expected. The meal schedule is a bit different than it was when I was a student, and we now only share breakfast together and one dinner (or... supper as NW Iowans call it) per week together; the rest we're on our own. So, I've been digging through lots of cookbooks to try and find recipes that I think I can find ingredients (or similar items) for in Taiwan. I'm sure I'll be updating on the crazy foods I eat, and what random ingredients I have to substitute for normal American ingredients.
Well, that's about it. Two days, and lots of stuff to do. But God continues to grant me energy, endurence and excitement to get through each day. I'll see you on the other side..... of the ocean that is. :)