How do you say 'Goodbye' to a place and people with whom you have fallen in love?
How do you say 'Farewell' to a school and ministry that is following a tough, high calling from God?
How do you leave such beautiful nature and children with more beautiful spirits and souls?
How do you handle no longer being in such a tight knit, loving community?
How do you pray without longing for the people group being changed by the work of Rehoboth?
How do you leave the office where you worked late, had frustrations in, and saw God working daily?
How do you work through the emotions of bittersweet; both of 'hello' to a new chapter of life and 'goodbye' to Rehoboth?
How do you struggle with the worries of no longer being able to assist in the crucial work being done?
How do you adjust to no longer praying to start meetings, no longer using words like 'ministry' in Advancement talks, and no longer being surrounded by professional Christians that made you better in every way?
How do you realize that your perspective of words like 'charity' and 'calling' have been challenged and changed forever?
How do admit that you will miss a place horribly even though you never thought that would be true?
How do express the vivid memories, challenges faced, joys experienced, sadness shared, and love felt throughout one of the best years of your life?
To my Rehoboth family: thank you. Thank you for taking in a Southern, Presbyterian kid who had no idea what life is like in the rural Southwest with a bunch of Dutchmen. Thank you for putting up with my mistakes. Thank you for reminding me that status and image is so much less important than getting dirty to serve others. Thank you for teaching me to embrace brokenness and to not fear sadness. Thank you for showing me that being the 'hands and feet' of Jesus requires patience, endurance, and selflessness. Thank you for giving me both professional opportunities and (more importantly) radically changing my interpersonal world.
While my 'Year of Charity' is over, I pray that we would be mutually encouraged by the deep, abiding agape love of our Heavenly Father through a lifetime partnership of prayer and support. My prayer is that He would continue to dwell richly in Rehoboth Christian School and the incredible work y'all are doing to renew Gallup and New Mexico. May God bless you for all you have done for those around you, including one Charlotte-bound kid who will never forget such a treasured place.
And now I have to say goodbye. Until we meet again at the sweet resting place for weary souls, a place aptly named after Genesis 26:22-- a metaphorical well in a very literal desert-- Rehoboth.