Endings are hard.  Saying goodbye always has a note of loss in it for me.  The good that we experienced,  the service that we performed, will fade into memory.  The moments we had can never be recreated.  Yet, if I think about it, this isn’t entirely true.

Last night was the last official business of this mission trip for the entire team.  We had a wonderful time of mutual encouragement with the Elders of CB
Český Těšín.  These are wonderful, godly men, who seek to lead their congregation well.  They have a passion for the gospel, a love for His people, and a heart to reach the lost.  Collectively they represented almost every ministry of the Church.

The CB Church of Český Těšín is in many ways similar to Family Bible Church.  Their Sunday service attendance is about 250 people, their music style is about the same as ours, they even have a family camp experience every summer.  Of course there are differences – most notably the language that we speak, but these are small compared to the similarities that we share.  The image of our common savior shines through their ministries just as we pray Christ is glorified in ours.

Today, members of our team depart for Prague, and then the long trip home.  Betsy, Jenn, Aidan and Andrew will be returning to Arizona soon.  The Sandys will be staying through Christmas and have a couple other follow-up events with the students before we return as well.  Please pray for health and easy travel for the team.

Although the mission trip is coming to a close (and yes there is a note of sadness), as Christians, we know that goodbye is not the end.  To put this into context, the CB Těšín church has been serving Christ for almost 60 years and it appears that they will continue to serve Him long into the future.  We have the opportunity to join them in the middle of the story.  We pray God’s blessing for the students that we worked with over this weekend – and we trust that the one who began a work in them will carry it on to completion.  And lastly, even if we were unable to return to the Czech Republic ever, we can look forward to a day where Jesus unites his followers from every tribe and nation.  It will be a glorious reunion from which there will be no farewells.  Until that time, we need to say “see you later”.

This is Doug signing off for now.  I wish you true joy and peace this Christmas season.  Veselé Vánoce (Merrry Christmas!) from the Sandy Family and all the brothers and sisters who are with us here.