Lynn and Anne on the special evening
John and Anne along with their son Andrew joined us at the last minute for a rushed birthday supper for Lynn on Wednesday evening two weeks back. We had planned to be on the road making our two day trek North, so no birthday plans had been made. And when at the last minute the surgeon wanted to see Bero (who had surgery the week prior) on Wednesday for one last checkup, plans changed. But at my age it took a while for the implications of the plan change to sink in. “Hey we will still be here for Lynn’s birthday!” and “Hey it may be a great idea to get some of our Mercy Air friends to go out to supper with us.” Well by the time these amazing thoughts had penetrated this 50 year olds’ grey matter, it was terribly late and I only had the courage to call up a couple who have known us for a long time, have grown kids, and I was sure would not be offendedJ. At the last minute Andrew, their son, who was supposed to be away doing an instrument check ride and proficiency check, had finished early so he also was able to come for supper. Again the value of time in the building and maturing of relationships can’t be measured! Thank you guys.
At supper we had a chance to talk a little more with Andrew about the aircraft accident he had the week prior (see my last blog) and to thank God that he was safe and now had his license back. Flying is an amazing blessing and as I have mentioned before, has saved us so much time on the road. And I am not referring to international commercial travel; I am referring to the time flying the Cessna 182 has saved us on so many occasions. Driving back to the mission from South Africa after having flown down to South Africa reminded me again of the dramatic difference. Over this time (including my trip to Beira) doing a quick comparison between driving and flying…the same trip that would take 47 hours on the road and the best part of 5 full days, would take almost exactly 10 hours with the Cessna and can be done in only two and a half part days! That is less than half the time! Not only so, but driving on roads that are challenging with traffic and conditions that are even more challenging is pretty tiring. Yes maybe flying a plane is stressful for some of you, but taking off, turning on the auto-pilot, looking for traffic and monitoring the flight (and doing a little reading when there is nothing to see anyway), and then landing the plane is pretty easy in comparison and a whole lot safer. If something could give you more than half your life back, what would it be worth? Now obviously we don’t travel every day of our lives, but hey at my age, every day is worth a lot! And what is more I get to spend them with a 50 year old beauty J.
Bero's 21st birthday celebration
Lynn was not the only one who had a birthday, Bero also had one. He turned 21 just after his surgery and we were able to take him for a good birthday meal. He had the chance to taste his first ever ice-cream sunday. He tasted the chocolate sauce, but made it clear to us very quickly that it would make him sick to eat it! He did seem to enjoy the ice cream though. Bero's Canadian friends and all the others who made his surgery possible have certainly helped to change his future, and only time will tell the full value of this investment in his life.
Lynn attending to Bero's wounds after our long trip
We arrived back on Thursday evening, unpacked, slept and Friday I was off to Beira to pick up a team visiting from Christian Fellowship Assembly in Grande Prairie. This church has been one those that has supported us monthly for just over 22 years now! That kind of faithful commitment has pretty high value and what is more that amount of time investment has allowed us to establish ourselves in a country that experienced 26 odd years of war and be in a position to contribute toward the equipping and empowerment of leaders and their churches and communities. Someone once said, “we overestimate what we can accomplish in one year, but we terribly underestimate what we can accomplish in five years.” How much more can be said of 20+ years. This past week we had the privilege of delivering 3 cattle plows to two associations of farmer/pastors who will use them to improve their food production. The gifts were the result of Unique Christmas gifts given this past year but are just in time for field preparation for the coming season.
Tamara, Steve and Laura Lee visited much of the work here and contributed in some neat ways. Steve, besides helping to source the plows mentioned above with one of our staff members, helped me to survey the runway so we could plot the grading that would be needed. Russell, our son, got the data via email and very quickly had prepared a profile along with details for the work that is needed. The girls helped Lynn to love on lots of sick people, women and orphans.
Time passes quickly and another week has come and gone, but the value of the time spent will impact the days and months to come in important ways!