The Evangelical Christian tradition of sending missionaries is not long on ceremony.  My final Sunday at All Saints Church in Seattle, a church I had attended for 8 years, the congregation stood and prayed for me.  Craig Mathison, an experienced missionary in his own right, led that prayer for both services.  That aside, there weren’t any formalities to mark my departure.  Knowing that, to have an evangelical congregation stand and pray for you is quite an honor.  It is the mark of a substantial turning point in a person’s life.  The prayer that is given before a sending is meant to activate the members of the congregation to prayer throughout the time that one is away.  Today the church of Fushekruje prayed that prayer for Kurt and Stephanie’s eldest daughter.

Image

While the rest of her family is in Greece next week Hannah will be putting the finishing touches on her schooling in preparation for college in the United States.  The Plagenhoefs have been in Albania for 17 years save for a few one year cycles back to the States.  Hannah’s best friend is her sister Sarah, and she is the adoring overseer of her baby brother Joel.  She will know doubt be a blessing to the faculty and students of Central Bible College.

Image

My prayer is that Hannah walk in the way of God with every step, that she be an example of grace both to others and herself.  I pray that she have the protection of God against all of the evils which seek to erode and bring into question the person she knows herself to be; a daughter of God.  May she flourish in this new environment and bring her calm, intelligent, thoughtful, lovely self to every encounter with the children of God.  And you, good reader, will you offer your prayers as well?

Image