Paul, and his colleagues give a salutation to the church of Thessalonica in the name of God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ: Grace to you and peace. And then he speaks to the Thessalonians’ faith and example by saying: We always give thanks to God for all of you and mention you in our prayers, constantly remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.
Please receive Paul’s words as those of farewell from me (and Jeff).
Our last Sunday was beyond any measure of God’s love we could possibly have imagined. I share all your kind words, precious cards, parting hugs, and gifts as onto Jeff as well; since without his support my years of ministry would not have been possible. What a joy to also share the day with our kids! I have said to several folks and now say to each of you, I don’t know how to “hold” the amount of love I felt expressed by all of you. The lunch and beautiful cake, gorgeous roses, sentimental autographed plaque, heart signs, card basket, crazy-fun children’s message, and so much more are all priceless gifts to me. Your gracious acts of kindness throughout my time at Santa Fe have been a blessing undeserved; even while I remind myself that it is all by the grace of God that I feel so blessed! You have been His living example of grace and love.
In addition to the ways each of you have personally blessed me, I have seen you represent Christ’s church in so many ways. I thank you…for following God’s lead, for teaching and receiving the Truth of the Gospel, for loving everyone and embracing the sounds and silliness of children, for remembering and respecting those who are older, for giving so generously of your time, for your commitment to prayer, your endless hours of service, and for standing up for those the world often forgets.
Continue to support and love the staff. They labor unto the Lord with hearts open and value your insight. They depend on you using the spiritual gifts God has given you. Remember them in your daily prayers. And P.S., Here’s a little secret: Mitch does work more than one day a week. J Stop by when you’re in our neck of the woods (plains). Our address: 3086 Pleasure Park Drive Waubay, SD 57273. Same phone #s. We will miss you, dear faith family, and hold you in prayer.
In Christ’s love,