Monday, 22 June 2015

Far flung friends

Seemingly perpetual goodbyes.  That’s the season of life I find myself in at the moment in this journey to overseas mission work.  Saying goodbye is never easy and I’ve had to say a fair few over the last few years.  Goodbyes to close friends in Torquay, goodbyes to work colleagues in Torbay and goodbyes to family members.

I said a fair few hellos back in September when I started training as a long term mission worker at BMS’ International Mission Centre (IMC) in Birmingham.  We’ve lived and studied together for ten months.  We’ve shared life together in a way that only living in community can afford you.  We’ve only known each other ten months, but it feels much longer given that we’ve shared our IMC home for a while now.

And so the goodbyes have begun.  To be fair, they began back in January when some of our fellow trainees left for their overseas assignments, and they have continued fairly regularly since.

The big batch of goodbyes is about to happen in the next few weeks as I and my friends leave the comfortable ‘nest’ of IMC and fly, literally, across the world.

I already have friends in Nepal, East Asia and Guinea, and of course in Chad.  Soon I’ll have more friends in Nepal, as well as in Bangladesh and India too.  It’s exciting to see how we’ll all adapt and develop our work as the months roll on.  Thanks to the joys of (sometimes very slow) internet, we can keep in touch, but it’s not the same.  Not the same as all being in the same building in Selly Oak.  However this fairly transient life is the one we’ve felt ‘called’ to live and embrace, and so embrace it I will.

Learning to say goodbye ‘well’ is a skill I am continually honing.  How do I do it so it doesn’t feel so ‘final’ but means that I am acknowledging what’s happening?  I guess I’ll soon develop my way of ‘doing’ goodbyes. 

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