“When our days there were ended, we departed and went on our journey, and they all, with wives and children, accompanied us until we were outside the city.” (Acts 21:5)
My friends Paul and Agnes saw me at the airport when I was checking-in. They stayed with me to see me off — back to Manila.
“See you in August”, both expressed their hope that I will be back in the city very soon.
When the couple was just about to leave, my friend Monj arrived at the airport, to catch up with me before departure. We had a good snack at the airport’s cafeteria while waiting for my departure. During this time, Monj’s lovely wife Bee wasn’t able to join us, but she is with us in our thoughts.
When I arrived in Manila, my friend Rommel called by long distance from Port Moresby to express his and his family’s best regards.
Another couple-friends, Nestor and Amee, came to join us for a dinner get-together before I left the city.
I somehow felt how St Paul feel when he left the community in Ephesus to go to Jerusalem as the story in Acts 21 says. It was a very touching moment.
But while I was deeply moved by the show of affection of these friends, I decided not to let my tears roll down, as was in my last departure. The last time, many people hugged me and cried as they throw their arms around me. And I can’t help but let my tears flow too.
But this time, I said, “I don’t like to cry.”
Yes, these friends were the very ones who helped me spread the Good News. They were the ones who helped me organise the building of a church community. They were the ones whom I had shared my thoughts, my experiences in the ministry and the blessings we had received from the LORD.
We ate together, almost every week. We shared our joys, our pains, our convictions. Yes, we shared our victories! We shared our reflections on Word of God.
They have touched me, they have touched my life with their love and support.
But because I have this hope in the LORD that we will continue our ministry in Port Moresby, we said not goodbyes, but “See you soon”.
May the LORD keep you and bless you my friends. Until we meet again in Port Moresby!