Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Thank You, We Love You, Well Done

This past Sunday was our last day ministering at Front Range Baptist Church in Fort Collins, Colorado. In the morning service, Q led the congregational singing as usual and I sang a solo. The choir director was gone, so I ended up leading the choir, too. The entire evening service was dedicated to us. Q selected the hymns to be sung and Pastor Redlin gave us an encouraging message as we look forward to the new ministry God has given us in Lafayette, CO. For some fun and laughs, Pastor brought Mike to church (his dummy--and yes, Pastor is an amazing ventriloquist!). Mike and Q sang a duet that will be unforgettable.

After the service, there was a nice cake reception for us. We stood near the table while many gave us hugs and words of encouragement. Although I tried to hold back the tears, I couldn't--after all, this church has been like family to me these past 12 years. Before Q came into my life, I was a single teacher at the academy and so many people at the church adopted me as their daughter. 

This beautiful flower arrangement was on the cake table, but it now sits on our dining room table. It's absolutely gorgeous!

When most of the congregation had left, we had this picture taken with the Redlin's. We have thoroughly enjoyed ministering side by side with them. Some of you may not know this, but Pastor Redlin was Q's youth pastor (in Pensacola, FL), so they have known each other for so many years. These past five years have been wonderful for Q to be under Pastor's leadership.

Pastor Redlin wrote a thank you to us in the church bulletin. He entitled the article, "Thank You, We Love You, Well Done." It means a lot to us, so I wanted to share it with you.

There are many words that people love to hear. For some, while not seeking them, the words "thank you" are deeply appreciated when offered for sacrifices made or services rendered. For others, the words "I love you" are at times difficult to say, but always sweet to hear. And the words that Christ used when teaching the parable of the talents are words that are to be savored. To the servant who had faithfully rendered service, the master said:

"Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord." Matthew 25:21

For the past several years, Pastor and Mrs. Johnson have labored faithfully within the ministry that God had entrusted to them here at FRBC. Today marks the conclusion of their ministry here, but an expansion of their ministry responsibilities elsewhere. The words "thank you" seem painfully insignificant, but certainly appropriate. The words "I love you" come naturally to a couple that has found a special place in my heart. And the words "well done" are fitting and appropriate. For their ministry characterized by a love for the Word, for their conduct guided by Christ-like character, and for their spirit clothed with humility, we say, "Well Done."

Pastor and Mrs. Johnson, thank you, we love you, well done.

When we got home, we read through all the cards that we received. Almost every one of them had a money gift inside. We were overwhelmed by the kind words and gifts of love. We are thankful for the way God has been leading and providing for our needs. We serve a great God, don't we?

Continue to pray for us as we begin ministering in Lafayette this week. Also pray that our condo sells and that God would provide more work for Q. He already has a temporary job lined up for this coming week, but we would like more. 

Thanks for your love and prayers during this transition time.


Kimia B. said...

Hi Mrs. Johnson,
I never really got a chance to say goodbye to you... I am going to miss you and Pastor Johnson a lot. I hope God blesses you both when you are in Lafayette. My family and I will be praying for you. We love you and will miss you very much.
God bless,

Theo-Ann said...

Thanks, Kimia. We will miss you guys, too. You'll have to come visit us in Lafayette.:) Thanks for your prayers!