Today was an emotional day at Bamako International Church as we bid farewell to our congregation. There were a lot of tearful good-byes. Due to the transient nature of the international community, many people will be gone by the time we return. A strong sense of community and family has been built at the church and we are going to miss everyone dearly. Starting this church has been John’s vision for many years and it’s a joy to see it come to fruition. But in the end, it’s not our church, it’s God’s church and we trust He’s going to continue shepherding it while we’re gone. We are so grateful for Frank and Sharon Arthur who have stepped forward to lead the church until their retirement in November.
John’s message today focused on departure. He began with famous good-bye movie clips from E.T. (yesterday marked the 35th anniversary of E.T.), Casablanca, and The Jesus Film. He spoke about Jesus’ ascension, promise of the Holy Spirit, and Pentecost, fulfilling God’s promise of never leaving us alone.
At the end of the service, Frank led in the church in prayer for us and sent us off with a wonderful blessing.