I hate for it to end.
The week starts with our initial awkward dinner where we do our formal introductions and hope our kids behave long enough to make a decent impression and by the end of 8 days we are family. We've laughed, cried, prayed, served, shared and eaten together. We're brothers and sisters who share the same burden. We understand each other's language even if it's Korean or Spanish or Hillbilly.
I remember missions conferences at my church growing up. The Ferus', the Lassiters, the Florida Children's Home, the Arnold's...all mission projects I remember clearly as a child. We hosted our fair share of after church afterglows with missionaries and families from our church joining us for a meal at our home. Maybe that's where it started. I corresponded with missionaries from the time I was 12 or so. And now as time has passed and technology has grown, Facebook and twitter keep me informed and up to date on their activities...and I love feeling like they are right next door even if they are really halfway across the world.
The bittersweet goodbyes of today are just a flash of temporary sadness in light of the eternal life that we will spend with these heroes of faith. They are the current Hudson Taylor, Adonirum Judson, Jim Elliot and Bro. Andrew. They risk something to share the gospel...and it makes me wonder...have I ever risked anything to share Jesus?
I'm thankful for the last 8 days...and while I'm so very tired physically, I'm filled to the brim with an excitement of what's to come...what's on the horizon...what's there to risk for Jesus?