Have You Seen? {June 16, 2019}

Welcome to Have You Seen? We’ll review last week and share other posts from around the web. Enjoy rest and renewal while you cozy up for some soul-food reading. 

Last Week’s Theme: Goodbye

Goodbye, for Now and for Good by Beth Barthelemy—”We’re in a bit of precarious place right now, a place well known to many cross-cultural workers. Our future in our current country is very uncertain, just as we finish our first term and head back for our first home assignment. The questions swirl in my mind, in my heart. Could we really have spent the last three years acculturating and investing, for this to be it? I look at what has become home, and wonder if it will still be next year. I consider the kids we’ve poured the gospel into, the teammates we cherish, the many brothers and sisters we love. I think of the hundreds of hours of language study. I’ve found myself soaking up my favorite parts of our country, more than usual, wondering if this will be the last time we play in this forest, or gaze at this sunset over the mountains, or have these sweet friends in our home.”

Countdown to Goodbye by Katelyn Comer—”Over eight years ago a young family packed their things, shipped them off, and flew to a small island in the south Caribbean. This sweet couple now pastor a growing church of international students, expats, and locals. Their two small children have grown up eating more mangos than strawberries, and seeing more monkeys than squirrels. They have built a beautiful life here. As they were putting down roots, many around them continued to come and go. They spent all these years saying goodbye; to family as they visit and leave, to friends who graduated or were relocated. Others came to serve alongside them, but it was only this family who remained a constant in the ministry. They are the ones who have always stayed. Six years ago was the first time we were connected with them. We had friends who attended their church and this connection was an answer to our prayers! God made it abundantly clear that this island, this ministry, and serving with this family was a part of our calling.”

Inner Endings by Jackie Scott—”We recently handed over our ten-year leadership position to a great and competent colleague as we sensed God’s leading, pulling us toward deeper local involvement. The hand-off took place over a month ago. The lives we were part of leading, the feeling of being in the know, the beautiful and brutal (as one friend puts it) issues at hand in our region are now off our radar. Though we felt the relief of a new, energetic leader in place, we also felt the dizziness of the change. Who are we now? How do we relate to those we previously led? How do we best steward the things God has entrusted to us? While these are being answered in the process and in community, we flounder a bit as we stay in place geographically while leaving our position of leadership.”

Goodbyes are Awful {The Grove: Goodbye} by Joy Smalley—”I was ten years old for my first, genuine goodbye. Our church prayed for us before we left for our initial move to Mongolia. I sobbed on the sanctuary steps and when we walked out to our car, my best friend sobbed with me, begging me for one more hug before we drove away. I have pictures of me with swollen red eyes, forcing a smile. It was awful. Fast forward four years and I found myself in a similar situation. Goodbyes were coming again, but this time I knew how painful goodbyes could be and I wanted to avoid the emotional chaos they evoked. So, instead of hugs and tears, I waved at my friend over the fence and said my goodbye. I thought I had gotten off easy and I could breathe more deeply, but my friend called me an hour later and on the phone we sobbed together. Little did I know that I would never return to that home again, or to that city, or to that life.”

From Around the Web

When You Are a Broken Gardener



What To Do When You Feel Lost

Finally, When Your Work is the Loosening of Chains

And Now For Next Week

The theme is…

hello prompt

Bonjour. Guten Tag. Shalom. Namaste. Hola. Selamat pagi. Xin chao.


Do you remember that first moment when you stepped out of the airport, the smells of unfamiliar spices, noises and sounds your ears didn’t recognize? Those early months of language learning and building relationships, understanding team dynamics. Perhaps you are eagerly anticipating these brand new challenges as you prepare to move overseas.

Staying in a place means you say a lot of hellos as new people transition in and you welcome them. It can be hard to start the relationship building process all over again.

This is the second installment in our series on transitions this month! Where do you find yourself hesitant about a new start, or what hello are you most excited for? We have some great conversations in store for you. Come join in with your comments on the blog posts, and add your photos on Instagram using the hashtag #VelvetAshesHello.

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