Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Pleasure in Needing and Being Needed

We are away from the mission for about ten days. We drove the two days over bad roads and slept about half way in a bed that left a little to be desired. Now in Nelspruit, South Africa, we are enjoying the weekend with our Mercy Air family.

Besides the vehicle maintenance that will happen tomorrow, and the flight medical that will happen up in Pretoria on Wednesday morning, and all the shopping and sourcing of supplies for the mission in between, we have the chance to experience once again the humbling reality that we are interdependent creatures; and oh the richness there is in that!

Today I had the wonderful privilege of talking to a dear friend over Skype. He in British Columbia, Canada, me in Mpumalanga, but we are connected by the history we revel in. Bob was the one who called me when the mission had purchased the aircraft and it needed to get to Africa. I did not have the time, the budget, or even the faith to think it was possible to get the aircraft out here within the next few years. But Bob did. Without his bold act of faith and courage it would not have happened, but it did and we now savor the memories and the awareness that neither of us could have done it alone.

(Dad Trekofski and Pastor Ed, two men I have needed again and again, pose by the Cessna.)

Bob is not only needed in Africa, he is needed by the love of his life. Sharon has been debilitated by horrific pain and Bob has been there. Day in and day out Bob cares and gives and gives some more and his faithfulness and courage has been an example to many, and the kind of comfort to his wife many can only dream of.
(Bob and Sharon, Dad and Mom Trekofski and Lynn)

I am needed as well! Lynn is doing a course in “Control Management for Non-profit Organizations” and my little accounting background has made it possible for me to actually help her. Today we worked together on assignments she was just not making headway on. It was hard work and took lots of time, but we worked through it and together enjoyed the sense of mutual accomplishment we could never enjoy had we done it alone.

With satellite internet on the mission we have been able to keep in touch with our fellow missionaries Rick and Heather. Rick likely loves the peace and quiet of no one else around, but Heather is missing Lynn’s company. Lynn is needed by many others, but hearing you are needed helps define your unique place in this world.

Ron and Barb Wayner (below, right) are two of our close friends and confidants. They founded Mercy Air and we share so much in common as we deal with the issues of life and ministry. We need them in so many ways! Prior to making our trip down I talked to Ron. “Be sure to bring the sizes of your kitchen cupboards,” said Ron. “We can buy the material and cut up the cupboard casings together while you are here.” How can you express your appreciation to someone when they take the time to do for you what you cannot do for yourself and what you likely could never afford to pay someone to do for you!

Although I feel such a debt of obligation to so many who do so much for us, I rest and rejoice in that need. I do this because their need and my need provide the opportunity for sacrificial service…and as some wise person once said, “Service is joy”.