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Saying Goodbye

By Lydia Gingerich, RMM staff writer

Last week, the REACH teams said goodbye to the countries, ministries, and people they have been working with for the past six months. They have now all returned to the RIC, but more goodbyes are just around the corner as they go their separate ways at the end of this week. Here are a few final thoughts that were written as the teams prepared to return from their outreach locations:

Team Spain

Though a year ago Granada was only a dot on a map, it has now become so much more to our team. Granada has become a home. We have walked the streets, smelled the orange blossoms and tasted the delicious foods. We have made friends here, and have grown accustomed to living in the Spanish culture.

Saying goodbye puts a heaviness in my heart. To be sure, we are excited to see family and friends in the States, but it will be hard to say goodbye to the people who have become our Spanish family. Although we are from different lands and cultures, God has sewn us together with seams of friendship. Let us praise God, our amazing creator who created cultures and languages so long ago, and is still working today!

Please continue to pray for our team, and our friends in Spain.


Team South Asia

Well, it looks like things are starting to wind down. As a whole, our team has mixed emotions about it all. Saying goodbye to what we have known for the last six months, while being filled with excitement to go back home.

A week ago, we said our goodbyes to all of the kids and staff at the orphanage and traveled the eight hours back to the city we started in. It was a little earlier than we had anticipated to be leaving and there were many faces soaked with tears. I can’t imagine what it must be like for kids to spend several months building relationships with people and then saying goodbye—most likely to never see many of our faces again in this life. They still are holding on to pictures from previous teams, and I can only imagine that in five years they will still have those faces tucked away in their books and still thinking of them.


Team South Africa

Well, this is my last blog entry ever. Because it’s our last week of outreach, and because I will probably never blog of my own will. It’s really a bittersweet time for our team right now. We really want to go home, but we will also really miss the life we have built here. We have almost been adopted into the “Door of Hope family.” The aunties are like our mothers, and the babies are like our children. How can we just say goodbye? It’s actually a lot harder than I thought it would be.

Team life is another thing we have to say goodbye to. This has been our life for nine months! I think it will be more of an adjustment than we think it will be.

So, we are all so happy to be coming home, yet very sad! But I know that I’m ready for the next step in life that God has planned for me. I think we all are. So the only thing I have left to say is – “Bring it on!”


Team Canada

As we pack our bags and prepare to leave, I know I will miss the people here and the memories we’ve made. At this time it seems tempting to see this as a collection of lasts: last time at youth center, last Bible study, last time to see a particular person, etc. But I prefer to see it as a time of opportunity. Sure I’ll miss the people here and even the city itself, but I think it is best to have an attitude of excitement for the future and what God has in store for each of us.

This of course opens up a whole new set of opportunities and questions we must take time to contemplate. There will be, in the next few weeks, a point at which we must all take time to think on our past and decide on our future. I pray that God will give us strength to go through this, and lead us to the conclusions that will best serve him.