Posted by: macahajo | April 8, 2017


Missionaries face tons of transitions. There are so many hellos to new people. And so many goodbyes to dear friends. In the last three years we’ve been in Cameroon, I’ve lost count of how many families we’ve said goodbye to. While some goodbyes are okay because it’s just for a year, other goodbyes are hard because it’s permanent… this side of Heaven.

This year is going to be harder on our family, especially on Hannah, who has some close friends in this year’s graduating class. These students will finish their time at RainForest International School, and leave. 

There is a popular acronym used to encourage missionaries in how to leave well: Reconciliation, Affirmation, Farewells, and Think Destination (RAFT). We became familiar with this acronym when we were in America, preparing to move to Africa.

But now, many families in our community are thinking about RAFTing, as they prepare to leave this mission field.

Reconciliation: We need to take time to think and pray about anyone in our lives who we might need to make things right with, and then do it! Romans 12:18 tells us, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.”

Affirmation: We need to acknowledge the relationships that have been important to us, and encourage those people. We need to tell them how much they mean to us – write them a note or tell them face-to-face!

Farewells: We need to say good, good-byes – whether that’s having a good-bye open house, enjoying coffee with my favorite aunt or taking a mini-vacation with our best friends. But, farewells are not only to people, but also to places. It’s good to write down a list of places that are important to us, and then visit them one more time.

Over Spring Break, Hannah and Josh were invited to a Raclette party, hosted by their good friends who will be leaving Cameroon in June. This was an important time in our kids’ friends’ lives as they say farewell, and it was a special time for our kids as well. (Things I learned in Cameroon, #9,345: Raclette is a Swiss dish based on heating the cheese and scraping off the melted part).

Think Destination: In the midst of saying good-bye to the people and places that have been a part of our lives, it’s important to look ahead. It helps to write down what we’re looking forward to when we get to where the Lord is leading us to.

Leaving well requires intentionality. It takes time and energy.

In the midst of grieving, leaving, if done well, can be full of special memories and sweet times.

While some of our friends in Cameroon are leaving, we are staying. While they are RAFTing, our family is in the CABIN. More on that another time!

Serving the Lord our Rock, who never changes, Cathy Lynn


  1. You expressed
    it so beautifully. GOD BLESS!

    • Thank you, Sandi! So good to hear from you! Blessings to you & Owen!

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