It’s Hard to Say Goodbye

Words by Colonel Jostein Nielsen.

A few days ago, we said goodbye to Rodney and Wendy (Walters). We have been working closely with them for the last 30 months and the love that unites, is the same love that now separates us.

This made me think of the farewell meeting Paul had with the local leadership of the church in Ephesus. The report from their gathering at the beach is a moving story, and the time of departure is described as follows:

“After we had torn ourselves away from them…”
Acts 21:1

This brief statement has been important to me for many years. It describes at least two important aspects of being followers of Jesus:

  1. The unique love that binds us
  2. The importance of spreading this love

I have asked myself if there is a contradiction in Paul’s statement:

Christ’s love compels us
2 Cor 5:14

However, since I am living in this love, I can testify that it is true for me too. Therefore, breaking up and saying goodbye to be able to spread love is not an imposed burden laid upon me or any other follower of Christ. It is a ‘compulsion’ that comes from the source of life, analogue to the fact that I ‘have to’ breath to survive. This time, Magna and I remain where we live physically, while Rodney and Wendy move on – this time with base in Singapore. We know that they will spread the love where they come and we know that people will know it and receive it.

Later this afternoon we will take part in in the farewell meeting for Leanne and Drew (Ruthven). Over the last couple of years, we have been able to work and minister with them in Romania and to be together with them has enriched our lives. We are not looking forward to saying goodbye, however, as with Rodney and Wendy, we accept Leanne and Drew’s readiness to be lead by the love that comes from the life-maker, and to spread it wherever they go. That is what keeps the momentum of our mission.

‘Manna’ for today:

Love is a prerequisite for momentum.

Words Col. Jostein Nielsen