I have been to many different missionary commissioning services, but never one quite like our commissioning service at Carey Baptist Church on April 15th. I meant to blog about this earlier but life has been a complete blur over the past few weeks with the move, dissertation defense and submission, and trying to settle in at our new temporary home.
The service wasn't unique simply because we were the ones being commissioned; although I am sure that contributed toward it being more memorable! After speaking for a few minutes, Pastor James invited any person in the congregation who wished to come forward to pray for us. Many of our dear friends came up, held our hands or placed their hands on our shoulders, and encouraged us with genuine, heartfelt prayer. This process took quite a while and I felt briefly sorry for any in the congregation who just wanted the service to end so they could go eat, but nobody seemed rushed or annoyed.
It is hard to put into words, but we felt completely overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and support. We keenly sensed the family love and support, not biological, but spiritual--united as one family in Christ in the cause of the Gospel. We treasure the relationships with our Carey family; along with the sure knowledge that there are people praying for us and loving us from a distance.