That was our theme yesterday, at our final service in Cluj. It is the name of a beautiful American hymn, based on Lamentations 3:22-23. It was also my own reflection on three years as a missionary in Cluj, and on the anxiety that we all feel at a time of transition such as this one. Life may seem unpredictable, the world itself may seem hard and even frightening; but God is faithful, and God’s mercies are new each morning.
Among the many joys of our final service was the reception of two new members into the Lutheran church, through the rite of Confirmation.
Other delights included the presence of Arden Haug, the ELCA’s regional representative in central Europe, and Kalit Eszter, the pastor of the Cluj parish. They offered farewells and a blessing. The music was led by some of our dearest colleagues — Trio Atmosphere and Brian Johnston. The gifts that Brian has brought to the English mission are too many, and too deep, ever to be counted.
We aren’t done in Cluj yet. We’ll live here for a little while longer, as we make the final arrangements and say the final goodbyes. But this marks the end of the thing that has been the center of our mission, from the very beginning: the weekly worship service. We will miss it, and we will miss that the community which has gathered around Word and Eucharist with us.
But we will never forget a moment of our time here — and we will never lose sight of God’s faithfulness!