What an exciting, sad, and touching day it was. The wind was blowing, clouds in the sky threatening to cast rain upon our celebrations, and the sun peaking through the clouds every now and again. The weather seemed to echo the turmoil in our hearts. Today was a sad day for us and yet it was also an exciting day. December 5, 2021 will remain in my memory for a long time indeed.
Commissioning the Watson
Today was an exciting day because we were being officially commissioned by our church (Tokai Community Church) as we prepare to head off to Chavuma, Zambia next month (January) to serve as missionaries. Our hearts were filled with joy and gratitude to God for the immense privilege of being part of this church and being able to share in this corporate calling to missions. Not only are we (Renée and I) obeying God by going into cross-cultural mission, but our church also is honouring God in obedience by sending us. It gives us great encouragement to know that we are not alone in this calling. “Together we serve to know Christ and to make Christ known for the glory of God” (TCC’s motto).
It was great to have the pastoral team pray for us laying their hands on us as a symbol of their blessing and sending us. Luke reminded us that this is how Paul and Barnabas were set apart in the book of Acts:
“Set apart for Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” And after they had fasted and prayed, they laid their hands on them and sent them off.Acts 13:1-3
Farewell to the Watsons
Saying goodbye to friends and family is not easy at all – especially when we have come to love each other so dearly. There were tears and there was laughter at the farewell celebration that took place on the church lawn after the service. Coffee and chocolate brownies were served in plenteous quantities and stories were shared in reminiscence of our time together over the past 7 years.
We were deeply moved and touched by the many words of love and encouragement from various folk who got up to share of how they’d been impacted by our friendship and ministry. It was humbling and heart-warming – precious moments indeed.
Even though this was a farewell, it certainly was not ‘Goodbye’. Since we are being sent by our church, it remains our home church. Whenever we come back to visit South Africa, we will come here to our church family, our home church.
We were blessed with many gifts of items for our pantry in Zambia – nuts, dried fruit, biltong, coffee, chocolates, mosquito repellant, sunblock, soaps, wet-wipes, a puzzle, a mirror, and plasters! Many of these gifts were accompanied by cards and hand-written notes with encouraging messages.
We were also given a notebook filled with farewell messages from our TCC family. These hand-written messages are truly precious to us. We are truly blessed to have such an amazing church family!
Thank you very much to everyone at Tokai Community Church for making this day a very special and memorable one indeed!
We love you all dearly ❤️