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It certainly is with mixed feelings that I write this final message.
Feelings of gratitude. Sadness. Excitement. Anticipation. Uncertainty. Unwavering trust. Then there’s the feelings I can’t even put into words.
I know we’ll get to say our “thank you’s” and “goodbyes” on Sunday. But there never seems to be enough time or adequate words to express the depth of or breadth of those feelings being experienced.
So knowing I can never do those feelings justice, I will just say this:
Thank you for being our family for the last 12 years.
You accepted us and loved us. You cared for us when we struggled and rejoiced with us in our victories. Most of all, you allowed us to be a part of your life and to walk alongside of you. You allowed us to care for you when you went through difficult times – sickness, family difficulties, job and career twists and turns. And you allowed us to be part of your special days – weddings, dedications, birthdays, miracles of healing and provision.
Thank you for the privilege it has been to be called your family.
Thank you for being our friends over the last 12 years.
You put up with the weird idiosyncrasies. You watched football with us. You allowed us to be who we are and not to have to put on any pretense – you accepted us, warts and all. You allowed us just to have fun with you and not just to “be your pastors”. You didn’t just talk to us about “spiritual” things, but about “normal” things – some of the most spiritual conversations of all, those normal things.
Thank you for your generosity of heart to call us friends.
And thank you for being co-labourers in the work God had called us all to during the last 12 years together.
You were willing to follow those things we felt God lay on our heart for Hope City Church. Even when some of them seemed a little out there. Because of that, we were able to impact so many lives for the kingdom. You gave of your time, your money and your effort to advance the Kingdom of God in the lives of one another in our church. As well as in our local community here in Brisbane, in Toowoomba, in rural and remote Queensland, in other parts of Australia, in India, in Thailand, in Japan, in Vietnam, in Cambodia – among other places. You made sacrifice after sacrifice – never complaining about the cost – with the only goal of seeing Jesus name made great.
Thank you for your willingness to follow and call us pastor.
I can’t tell you how much we love you church and how thankful we are to God for the last 12 years of our life spent here with you. Thank you so much for your care and love.
I know this Sunday will be an emotional time for us – I’m steeling myself already in preparation – but the overwhelming emotion we will feel is gratitude to you for allowing us to belong.
Truly, I so looking forward to seeing you on Sunday
Alex & Sarah.