September 30, 2018
Lee Appreciation Reception
Following the Sunday evening service on September 30, a reception was held to recognize and thank Darrel and Debbie Lee for their nineteen years of service to the Portland congregation. Light refreshments were provided, including some delicious black and white cookies, as everyone had time to visit and reminisce about all that has happened in the Portland church over the past two decades.
Conversations paused briefly while John Musgrave spoke on behalf of the congregation, expressing thanks to the Lees for offering their time, love, and prayers so generously over the last nineteen years. Then the congregation surprised the Lees with a thank-you gift: a basket with a gift certificate to spend during an upcoming vacation, a gift card to a local restaurant, art supplies (Sister Debbie is quite the artist!), coffee selections (Brother Darrel is quite the coffee connoisseur!), and more. It was a lovely gift, though it could hardly express the deep gratitude felt by the Portland saints for the Lees’ years of service.
Brother Darrel and Sister Debbie also voiced their feelings of love for the congregation and appreciation for all the special memories they have shared with the Portland church family. Sister Debbie commented that nineteen years didn’t feel like a long time, yet when they first took on their roles of pastor and pastor's wife, they had no grandchildren. Now they have a grandson playing in the youth orchestra, and sometimes in the adult orchestra too! Many saints who were present in the beginning have since passed on, and many in attendance Sunday evening had not been born or were very young nineteen years ago. Indeed, a lot has changed over the years, and the evening was a great opportunity to reflect and be grateful for what God has done since bringing the Lee family to lead the Portland congregation.
While the appointment of a senior pastor is a new chapter for the Portland congregation, the Lees will carry on as usual in other aspects of the work. Brother Darrel will be in Africa from October 24 through November 15 to encourage the work in South Africa, Benin, Ghana, and Nigeria. We are happy that Sister Debbie will stay home this time!