Saturday, June 27, 2015

Day 23: Give Thanks!

I woke up this morning and wondered why I felt so sad. Of course, it was the last day of CI! Today was the day we have to say goodbye to each other and return to our own respective countries. As I continued on feeling sad, from my room I could hear someone softly playing "Give Thanks" on the piano in the living room. As the sweet music continued to flow into our room, I was reminded to give thanks. Indeed, saying goodbye is always difficult, but looking back at the whole trip, I have so much to be grateful for!

Team 5 says goodbye!

I am grateful for yet another year in CI, the immense blessing of having the opportunity of serving God with a group of like-minded Christians! It's truly an irreplaceable learning experience. But one thing I am especially grateful to God for is how He has truly stretched me this trip in my people relationships. This was an area I havent been growing much in and I am very grateful for how He has been showing me my need to start growing - to learn true love (though it may be tough), to grow in maturity in relating to different people, to not be biased, etc. I am grateful God did not give me what I would have wanted, but what He knew was best for me.

Having said that, when we sat down for breakfast that morning, it was still sad to know that that was our last breakfast in Jakarta (in 2015). :( After breakfast in our host's house, we moved on to the Hartono's to meet up with all the other team members (for the last time). :( As a whole team, we went to a nearby mall for lunch and some last shopping (for the last time). :( Then we went back to the Hartono's with only a few hours left till we had to leave for the airport.

Everyone was trying to make the most of those last few hours we had together, talking, sharing, jamming, playing games, and of course signing each other's books. And the sad time has arrived, it was time to say goodbye. Last pictures were taken, goodbyes were said, a few tears were shed - this was always the part of CI that I hated most because we have lived with each other for over three weeks and the bond was there. But life is like that! :D It's time to move on!

Praying for one another

And yet with sad, wistful feelings in my poor stomach, there was also some joy deep down mixed up with it because we were going back to HOME SWEET HOME! After all, there's nowhere else like home! About to be reunited with Pa, Ma, and little sister :D

Overall, reflecting on the whole trip - it is heartwarming to see how a lot of us have grown through CI, whether spiritually or in learning to journey together as a team! I praise God for how He has worked in our hearts and lives - because ultimately it is Him who causes changes and growth and CI would be nothing if not for our Heavenly Father. I will cherish the fond memories we have made together, going through ups and downs together and coming back stretched and matured and thankfully still in one piece :D. I am excited to see how each of us will bring back the things we have learned and impact our society today, to love the Lord our God with all of our heart, all of our soul, all of our mind, and all of our strength!

Grace Ling
Team Member
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