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I found this when we packed up Mom's things in Mt. Lake; it was the farewell address that the people in Mahabubnagar presented to Mom and Dad when we left India that last time. I remember we had to have several evenings of meetings because so many people wanted to get up and give long farewell speeches---and I slept through a bunch of them! Thought you'd like to see it; it made me sad to read it. The original is handwritten, and I have copies of it. Let me know if you want one. - Jo

Farewell Address

To

Rev. & Mrs. J.N.C. Hiebert

M.B.C. High School

Mahabubnagar

Dear Sir and Madam,

Having been bound by strong ties of fellowship and genuine love, we the staff and the students of M.B.C. High School have gathered here this evening to bid you farewell on the eve of your departure to your home land.

In the intensely busy life of yours, you have always strived for high ideals instilled by the will of God and endeavored till the last day through your spirit of self sacrifice to reach the goal of perfection. It is no exaggeration to say that you have not spared any pains, especially for the success of your students. The brilliant percentage both at public and school examinations speak volumes of your sincere efforts and your inspired zeal for the betterment of school is an incentive to the teachers.

Encouraging and edifying were your lectures at school and in the church and the thought of your absence from our midst disheartens many a soul who had been led by you in the Word of God. Your untiring services inspire us day after day to labour with great zeal in the service of the Lord.

Bountiful are the blessings the Lord hath showered upon you, and the bright side of the fact is that you never hesitated to share your gifts and fortunes with others. Your loving nature in raising up the school bears a good record. We are really proud of your personal effort in supporting deserving youth in education with the fond desire of preparing them for shouldering future responsibility.

Ever since we have heard of your sudden departure from our midst our hearts have sunk deep in sorrow and disappointment. But the idea that you are leaving for a better cause gives us great joy. We sincerely hope that you will accomplish a nobler task in preparing and sending forth many a youth into His Service.

Remember therefore our Church and school, though the distance far apart, and endeavor to have our hearts knit with yours in the love of the Lord.

Therefore, we wish you God-speed and bon-voyage home. May God keep His gracious promise: When thou passeth through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee. Isaiah 43:2.

We remain,

Dear Sir and Madam,

Ever yours,

The staff and students of the M.B.C. High School

Mahabubnagar - Deccan

October 20, 1951