See You Later
This should be the last major communication you should have from me for the next two months. My sabbatical is officially October 1 through November 30. During that period of time, I’m going to try to limit my communication and available as much as possible. The Church Board’s letter explained the way to get in touch in the case of an emergency. I do hope for rest and some time with Josanne. She’s in need of a break as well, so for the first week of my sabbatical, we’ll be going away together.
You probably have noticed that I tend to end my E-grams, E-bulletin, my emails, even when I’m in person and leaving with the phrase, “God bless.” It occurred to me that it might be good to explain where that comes from. When I lived in the Dominican Republic, the common thing you would say to someone when you were parting was, “Dios te bendiga”—God bless you. At first, I thought, that’s just kind of rote thing that people say without really thinking about it and it kind of bothered me. But then, when I would come back to the US, it made me aware of the things that we say when we are parting. When I would visit a congregation to present our ministry, when I was leaving, people would often say, “Good luck!” Now, I’m not criticizing this, but my point is that we don’t think much about what we say when we part. I’d often think, and sometimes I’d say, “luck doesn’t have anything to do with it!” Here I was a missionary, doing what I believed God was calling me to do. I was asking for prayers as God made a way for us to serve there. I don’t think God’s calling has to do with luck. So, from that time on, my normal thing to say when parting is, “God bless!”
I’ll continue to pray for the members of NDMC and for the congregation as a whole during my absence. I hope that you’ll pray for me. All of us find ourselves as followers of Christ in God’s hands. I will see you later, and I look forward to hearing the way that God has worked in all of our lives in the intervening time.
Dios te bendiga—God bless you! Brian