Plattner Family Jamaica Update - June 2012
If we took all of the “greetings and farewells” from the letters of the Apostle Paul, what would we find? I started thinking about this in relation to our saying goodbye. I have not done the full study and scoured each example, but as I think over the example Paul provides, I think of some themes that bubble to the top. I am sure there are more, but I see Paul focusing on three things; giving thanks, sharing the longing heart he has for the people, and the sharing of foundational truths that he wants them to always remember. While I am not saying we are sharing Paul’s heart exactly, we are experiencing this feeling in a profound way. First, we must give thanks. Thanks for the sustaining grace of God and for all of the love that has been shared with us from our friends here in Jamaica. God has been good to us and we can’t find the right ways to fully express our gratitude. Also, we will deeply miss our friends and coworkers. Our hearts long for ways to be able to shrink the miles and continue these relationships, but just as Paul knew, the calling of God meant that the fellowship would be different. And third, our hearts have been bursting with a desire to see the foundational truths of our God indelibly marked on the hearts of the believers in Jamaica. As we considered our final chapel messages to the students, we wanted to leave them with a Pauline type treaty to remember the truths of our God. Because, we know that it is only through the grace of God that we can have the hope that these relationships and goodbyes are not final.
Our past month has been like nothing else we have experienced. While it has many similar characteristics to our time leaving the states and moving to Jamaica, it feels different. Similarly, we have experienced the profound joy of pursuing a new opportunity that we believe is right. But, this has been followed simultaneously with the deep sorrow that many of our relationships will be difficult to continue at the level that we wish. And, the thing that is different is the feeling that we know we are leaving work “on the table.” So, the combination of both the greater finality in the closure of relationships combined with a strong sense of work remaining to be done in Jamaica makes this transition different and difficult. But again, we don’t say that in any sense of despair, as we are excited and confident in the new work that the Lord has provided and in the Lord’s provision for the continuing of the work in Jamaica.
The details of our transition remain fuzzy, but are becoming clear. Lord willing, we will be flying on July 18th and will be hitting the ground on the run. After arriving back in the states we will be continuing work on determining our long-term location. This will be combined with some initial meetings as well as family gatherings. Therefore, after arriving in the states, we will be on the move for at least the first three weeks. We are looking forward to catching up with many of you and sharing in fellowship.
Our family is adjusting to everything well. The kids share our mixed emotions. They have been processing the idea of moving back. One time, they will loath the idea of moving and express a desire to just stay in Jamaica. Then, a little later, they will process the idea of Grandma’s house and cousins, then that changes everything. I think it will similarly take them time to grasp the ramifications of this move. Jamaica is all they know and they have adapted quite well, but we pray for God’s grace in filling the gaps of their heart in this move.
As we mentioned above, gratitude has been a side effect as we consider our move. And, a significant aspect of that gratitude is for all of your love, support, and prayers. There is no way for us to fully understand and comprehend the fullness of love shared with us over the past five years. Thank you so much and we pray that we can pass that blessing on in the future.