It is the end of year, and it's the time where people come and go. Yesterday at church Joshua farewelled staff workers who will be leaving us, and announced some new workers who will be coming. Amongst the 'going list' will be all the MTS girls - however none of them will actually be leaving next year as they'll still be around in church, serving under different roles. Bernie and Jennie will be heading off to another Chinese church to gain experience in ministering in such context. Anna might be away for a year, possibly in CCC. Ronnie has finished Moore, and will be back to Singapore/Malaysia. On the 'arrival list', there will be Leo, Kylie and Paulyn as our new MTS staff workers. Robin would be back with us again, and Danny will be the new catechist. I could remember the last time that we met Danny, an American-Korean who did part of PhD in UNSW quite a while ago. But now he is back from the states to start Moore College. Wow.
There were more farewells after the Bible studies, as we say good bye to some couples from UCC who will be leaving us. M&A and K&R are going to AABC. V&A are going to Christ Church Gladesville. D&P will be heading to St. Andrews Cathedral. It was a shock when I heard that all of them are leaving at the same time - and that pretty much leaves UCC long-termer-less as nearly all the 'old and mature' married couples have gong. I guess it must be difficult for those with kids, or those who need to travel long distance to continue serving the students in FOCUS. At the same time it also gives a lot of pressure to the remaining leaders.
But that is how FOCUS works. Coming and going. It happens to all the churches I guess. There will always be people joining (in God's mercy, of course), and there will always be people departing. Some people come back after a few years, but some people you know that you will never see again. Just that in FOCUS it happens all the time, especially at the end of the year. Some people simply just have to move on with life. Some people want a shift in the ministry. Some people cannot get enough support from similar minded peers. Some people just can't find what they are looking for here. People move on, and sometimes relationships break apart.
But before you can catch the last glimpse of the fading shadow, the new year would then kick in to occupy you. Another busy year. More relationship to build.