This morning was our send off prayer at the CBTS chapel service. We made the kids come to chapel and were expecting a prayer at the end, but honestly were not prepared for the touching send off these dear saints gave us. Our whole family was brought to the front of the church and then ushered into a prayer room in the front while some announcements were made. Mrs. Maasa met us with a bag full of specially made African outfits for the whole family. The boys all threw their shirts on and left Ellie and I to quickly change into our skirt and top...I felt a little like a model having to make such a quick transition. The kids and I were given Certificates of Appreciation for the work done in the library - they were very sweet. There is a mystery gift for Drew that had not made it in time for chapel so we still have that to look forward to. A few of the Pastors on campus came up and prayed for us. Drew was given the mic to make a speech but instead he sang the song "Pleasing To You" by Jared Anderson. After Drew prayed a heartfelt, emotional prayer (after the emotional song), the President of CBTS had a few words to share.
We were so touched by his words and wish we had them video taped because really they were prayers for all of you. He prayed for our son Chris, who is still in the states (he is 24 years old). He prayed for our Pastors, thanking them for the influence they have had on our family's life, that we would be willing to come here to show the love of Christ in practical ways. He prayed for all of you that have contributed financially and in prayer so that it would even be possible for our family to come at all. There is so much to do around this campus from a construction point of view and he prayed earnestly that we would return for years to come. It was so encouraging because he understood and conveyed to everyone there in the chapel that we were only there at all because of a whole team of people. God may have called us to the dusty place of Ndu, but we could never have done it without Him also putting it on peoples hearts to give and to pray and to be our support team all along the way.
Last night we enjoyed dinner with a couple of the Master's program students who have become good friends to our family. They were telling us all the things that we do that are so contrary to their culture. Some examples are that we have conversations with adults and our children are a part of the conversation, we interrupt each other (which isn't a good thing and we will be working on that), we engage in getting deep with people - whether they are eating or whatever is going on, without sending our kids off to another area of the house. They asked if there are other families like ours, and we were able to say YES. We know this because we rub shoulders with them at our co-op and at our church every week. Over the years we have met many families that have influenced our vision for our own family. They asked about our Pastors, because they thought we must have amazing Pastors influence us for God's Kingdom - again they were right. We are so thankful for the leadership in our church and our church family and the impact they have had in our lives.
God has put some amazing people in our life, both at home and here in Africa... and in Canada. We feel so privileged that He would find us worthy to be used by Him and that many of you had faith to trust us and support this adventure God has brought us on. I hope as we return home that we will be able to pass on the gratitude and lessons we have learned from these 2 months in Ndu.