THE PAIN OF FOND FAREWELLS

"Clark, I need to talk to you. I'm taking the offer to open the new office in Illinois."

Our congregation was two and a half years old. Wayne, a young C.P.A., had been one of our strongest leaders since its birth. My wife and I were close friends with Wayne and his wife, Debbie. We had stayed in their home on our house-hunting trip before moving to the area. We had spent hours planning together for the church. We had taken childbirth preparation classes together, and our daughters were born two days apart. We had prayed with them, laughed with them, cried with them.

Now they were moving.

How could they? Just months shy of the ground breaking for our first building, we were knee-deep in financial arrangements. The church needed their financial expertise-not to mention their support. And they led a growing class of young couples who would miss them tremendously. They couldn't go!

Yet, how could they not? The new office was near their parents. They would be able to rear their children in the ...

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