Three years ago, I cried, no I bawled, at the fact that we were going to move our family so my husband could attend The Masters Seminary. The thought of leaving our dear friends, family and church and uprooting ourselves to no other place than what I was convinced was Sodom and Gomorrah (Los Angeles). I was moving from a town of 10,000 people to a city of 10 million.
Can you say, culture shock!! I remember pulling up our first dayat our new churchGrace Community Church, and to say I was more than overwhelmed is an understatement. I wanted to run and hide, in factI wanted to hop back on a plane and go home.
The church that we would attend,consisted of half of my whole town’s population during each week service! How would I make friends? How would I know which room was my kids Sunday school room? Would my kids fit in?
Fast forward, three years have almost come and gone and as I realize that our journey here is coming to an end, I am now crying at the fact that as my husband finishes seminary, I have to say goodbye to you, my beloved Grace Community Church. I want to say thank you for taking us in.
We arrived with literally a van full of our possessions and you filled our home with beds, couches, lamps, dressers, to the point of abundance. You saw the needs of the saints and you gave so generously. I have been so challenged by your generosity and your hospitality.
Grace Church, you have taught me what it means in Colossians chapter 3, verse 23 “Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord.” You don’t just do something half-heartedlybut go that extra mile. I watched you invest into future pastors and their families and serve with the biggest smile.
Thank you for opening your homes to us. I know it isn’t easy having a seminary attached to your church. Knowing that us families arrive and are only going to be here for 3-4 years and then you are going to send us off into the nations.
You know that our friendships are going to be earthly short, yet you reach out, you invest and then you shed tears with us when it is time for us to graduate. You give so much of the churches resources to invest into the kingdom of God. Thank you for putting the great commission first.
Thank you for solid biblical teaching
Thank you that in our postmodern world that tells us there is no real truth, you have not waivered on the truth found in Scriptures. Men such as Pastor John MacArthur, Ps. Tom Paton, Ps. John Street, faithfully exposit the word of God each week
They have such a high view of scripture and aren’t afraid to tackle the hard passages, even if the world doesn’t like it. You have stood firm for the inerrancy of Scripture.
Thank you for investing into my children
Jesus says in Matthew chapter 19 verse 14, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” You are a church that loves children. You understand that we all desire the Lord would touch and transform the hearts of our children and that it isn’t an external change we want to see but internal.
You make programs that come alongside and reinforce what the parents are teaching at home. You have so many gifted Sunday School leaders and volunteers who proclaim those truths faithfully each week. I look at how you are willing to go to great expense to speak the truth.
Thank you for reaffirming to our children what is taught at home, and investing into their lives. To all their teachers and helpers, thank you for loving my children and helping them in their journey with the Lord.
Thank you for doing things right by missionaries
You take the great commission very seriously and thank you for showing me what a sending church looks like by having over 100 missionary families. I am so honored on how you treat your missionaries. You not only send them out very prepared, but you make sure they receive cards and gifts on the mission field and they are not forgotten.
You encourage them with family holidays and solid teaching so that they can continue to grow as well. I love how you spare no expense on lavishing on your missionaries when they come home to relax.
Thank you to all who we have come to call friends
I think this is the hardest one to thank as words can’t tell you what an honor it has been to walk alongside you during this journey of our lives. Thank you for having us over, or coming over to our place. Thank you for loving our children as your own.
Maybe we only got to meet a couple of times over coffee during fellowship, or got to serve along with you in the kids ministry or Bible study. My beloved Sem wives and EWG table how you invested into me and shaped me more for Christ and I am going out of here stronger in my faith and hoping to do likewise wherever the Lord calls us.
I am so grateful for our lives passing, even if it was only for a mere few minutes, it makes the anticipation of heaven even greater. How sweet the reunion will be.
Thank you that we arrived as strangers and we leave as family as you invested and believed in us. We will miss you all. Thank you for showing us what a healthy multigenerational, multicultural church can look like. I love watching how you use the body of Christ for the glory of God.
Genevieve Wilson is Canadian. a happily married home-schooling mum of 3, whose passion is to see people come to know Jesus. She is a seminary wife to her amazing husband.