We told them a couple of days after Paul talked with our pastor the second time, which was only a few days before we would make the announcement in church. They were all surprised. They all said they would miss their friends at our old church. Faith was the most visibly disturbed. She didn't want to lose touch with the friends she had made at our old church. But she is also old enough to see that, even in her own life, God is drawing her to something different than she was getting at the church we were at. We reassured her that we would make a big effort to keep in touch with her friends (which we have done!).
Joy and Grace really took their cues from us; we were happy so they were, too (except for the missing friends part!) They were also excited that they wouldn't have to go to AWANA or children's choir this year. In years past they had loved both of these activities, and they are both so enthusiastic about almost everything. Usually by the end of summer they were eager for these activities to start. But not this year! I knew this was God preparing their hearts to leave where we were and embark on something new.
Hope was the one child whose reaction would be the most unpredictable. I knew that she might be sad she didn't get to experience all the fun youth stuff her older sister did. She might not like such a big change. True to her unpredictable nature, Hope surprised me. She was so happy! She seemed to grasp the importance of trying to reach new people with the love of Jesus. She couldn't wait to tell her friends!
In fact, all the girls were eager to share the news with their friends. They were able to tell some of them a couple of days later, and they told the rest during their Sunday School time at church the following Sunday. I thought our last Sunday might be a sad one for them, but it wasn't. They were ready to move forward.