Friday came faster than Wayne thought it would be. On Tuesday, at lunchtime, the staff had a party for him since he would be moving on to a new life. Wayne was disappointed about the Lord told him that he couldn't do anymore baptisms at John Baptist when he first moved to New York, that was the first thing he did, and he couldn't because time was running out.
A few members who were on staff came by early on Friday morning before he left so they could find the time to say good – bye. Yes, Mary was one of them.
"We will miss you, Wayne. Maybe you can come back and visit us."
"That would really be nice."
They didn't give him any good – bye gifts, but it was mostly cards and money. He wasn't expecting much of anything and that was okay too. He never argued about the money they had given him.
"Will you do us a favor, Wayne?" one of the staff members asked.
"What's the favor you want from me, Sarah?"
Sarah is in charge of the children at the Church. She has done a really good job, and that's what Wayne liked about her.
"Mary, let me know when the new person comes to take over."
"I will," she told him.
"Will you please call us once you arrive so we know you made it safely?"
"Of course, Sarah. I would probably call in when I can since I will have a lot of unpacking to do."
They understood that very well. He had to leave soon, so his time was running out.
"We won't be staying much longer since you have a new life that's waiting for you."
"I'm not yet ready to leave quite yet. I won't be leaving when we say a prayer."
"We can do that right now," Mary told him.
"Thanks, Mary. I can't leave when we don't say any prayers."
"That makes sense," Sarah's husband agreed.
"May I do it or should someone else do it?" Mary asked.
"It really doesn't matter either way."
Here's what Mary prayed:
"Father in Heaven, Thank You for bringing Pastor Larsen here to New York. We all have learned a lot from him whenever he had a message to preach. Now that You have called him to find a new mission and new life, please help him where he goes to face hard times.
"He was a great pastor to our Church. He worked very hard to get this far from Your help to do this sort of thing. Whoever the person You have chosen to take over from Pastor Larsen be very great like Wayne here is. You are a great Father to all of Your children.
"We do know that You know where he will be involved in the Church's activities, and that includes baptisms. In Your Name, Amen."
"That was really good, Mary. A lot of people who are God's children pray the same way we do. All of us do it differently."
Everyone agreed with Wayne, which is true.
"Are you ready to leave yet, Wayne?"
"Of course not, Sarah. I want to stick around for a bit longer."
"Well, you wanted to leave when you wanted Mary's prayer."
"I did say that. I still want to be here for a little bit longer right here and now."
They didn't want to rush him either. When he chose to leave, it was good to do that right away. Before he did that, he got more hugs and shook hands.
"I'll call from my cell to let you know I made it safely. You all know you're always welcome to talk with me."
When he finished saying that, he got inside the car and finally drove away.