For once the French got it right. The word in French for blessing is the same as the word for benediction. Don't give them too much credit; it's all because the Latin root word is the same. But nonetheless, I always loved hearing them talk about blessings at church in Goma, because hearing the word reminded me of the benediction my pastor back home gives most Sundays. Since I'm leaving Africa today (it's 5:30 in the morning here), a benediction seems like the right thing. I'll leave with these words running through my mind, and with this picture of the land we were able to buy for the pygmy families in Sake -- a blessing in tangible form:
"The Lord bless you and keep you, the Lord make his face to shine upon you and give you grace. Grace not to sell yourself short, but grace to risk something big for something good. For the world is now too dangerous for anything but truth, and too small for anything but love. So may God take your hands and work through them; may God take your lips and speak through them; and may God take your hearts and set them on fire."