Country Coordinator, Tessa, recently wrote about her own goodbyes of a year ago and the upcoming goodbyes of the YAGM crew in South Africa:
A year ago, we were saying our last goodbye’s to family and friends. Friends hosted farewell parties for us so we could see lots of people at one time. We were frantically packing and storing remaining items. And we were finishing the really hard goodbyes to family. At each place, we each cried in our own ways and were filled with love and well-wishes. Oof. It was hard. It brings tears to my eyes just to remember.
I just got an email from one of the young adult volunteers. She is in the midst of her own goodbyes at her site. She will still be there for a few more weeks. And yet, soon it will be time for her to leave her community for the final time. She lamented to me tonight that it is so hard to leave. It is.
I am really thankful that these young adults are struggling with their last weeks. No, I’m not actually thankful they are struggling. But I’m thankful that they have become so immersed in their communities that they are finding it painful to prepare to leave. That is how it should be.
A big part of this Young Adults in Global Mission program is that it happens through relationships. Each young adult has formed many relationships. They now see South Africa in general and their communities in specific completely differently than when they arrived. They now understand issues in new ways. They see and understand God in new ways. Frankly, they see life differently than when they arrived. This is because of the real people that they have been sharing life with over the last year.
In a month, these beautiful young adults will be landing on their home soil or on their way there. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. This is not an easy journey. But thankfully, it is a journey of love.