It is now official. I am a commissioned missionary for The United Methodist Church, and praise be to God, everything is now in order and visas now in hand, so I will be leaving in only a few hours to fly out to Cape Town, South Africa!
The commissioning service yesterday went beautifully. We worshiped, we laughed, we cried, and we were prayed over one at a time and officially sent for by Bishop Ough. There was a full crowd in the room to watch, and thousands more from 4 continents and all over the US watched via live stream on the internet. It was a great moment not just for those of us long anticipating this moment as missionaries, but more so for the global church. What an incredible gift that so many from all over the world were able to share in this moment with us.
To my huge and incredibly pleasant surprise, one of Jonathan and I’s classmates at Garrett came to see him be commissioned, having no idea I would also be there. Mike Rudd is a blessing to every life he touches, and was kind of the grandpa of the seminary during his time there. It brought such an added burst of joy to the night, and I definitely wish to say thank you to Mike for the incredible support over the years and for standing with me when my name was called - it was great to see you there.
Perhaps my favorite part of the evening was just after the service ended. All of those newly commissioned were led into the room next door where we would wait for photos to be taken, and immediately as we gathered in, the Mission Interns and US-2s circled up, holding one another and singing “Amen!” in great joy and with laughter. Soon, most of the room was joining us, and it truly was a witness to one another of the overcoming of struggles we have come to get this far and how very much it was worth it. God is indeed good, and it was great to celebrate in that together.
These are all of the missionaries with Bishop Ough immediately following our commissioning.