Session 9: I thank my God every time I remember you

Worship

Sing together songs of thankfulness.


Devotional: Jesus said excellent goodbyes

Ask someone to read Matthew 26:26-30 and Luke 24:50-53. As the team identifies them, jot down some of the things Jesus and His disciples did to say goodbye to one another in these two short passages.
  • They had fellowship around a meal.
  • Jesus spoke words of instruction, encouragement, and blessings.
  • They sang together.
  • The disciples accompanied Jesus to the Mount of Olives.
  • The disciples stayed with Jesus right up to the point when He ascended into heaven.
  • The disciples were filled with great joy; they worshiped together.
What can we learn from these passages about how we might say goodbye to our hosts (and then to one another)?
  • Take time to celebrate together.
  • Share a meal together.
  • Sing and worship together.

Prayer

Praise God for the promise of strength and healing.
Pray specifically for team members and hosts who may be feeling discouraged.


Reflect and take action

Divide into groups of three and four to discuss the following:
  • How do you feel about saying goodbye to our friends here?
  • What happens to people when we avoid saying goodbye?
  • Who will be the hardest person for you to say goodbye to?
Saying excellent “goodbyes”: Paul and his companions were masters at saying goodbyes. Read Acts 21:5-6 and note how they took leave of their friends.

What are some practical ways our team can say goodbye individually and as a group?
  • Invite your hosts to a special “thank you” celebration meal; tell them what you have learned from them.
  • Give small mementos such as a team or individual photo, T-shirt, or something from your     home church (mug, pen, calendar).
  • Prepare a team thank you card or poster.

Communion and fellowship

You are coming to the end of this intense experience of living, working, learning, and serving together. Are there wounded relationships among team members? Is there a need for repentance or forgiveness? What praises need to be spoken? This is a time for healing team relationships.
  • Set time aside when the team can gather together for communion without other                distractions.
  • Before the meal is served, have everyone stand, and encourage them to approach each other one-on-one. They may either: ask for forgiveness for something they have done, lovingly confront the person who has offended them, or tell the person a specific way they have been encouraged or blessed by having them as a team member.
  • Everyone should have something to say during this time. When everyone has finished, call the group together and serve communion to one another.

Note on making promises

As your trip draws to a close, remind team members to avoid promising to write or send pictures to their new friends unless they really will do so.
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