Yesterday was a day of sorrow as I received the news that several friends of mine were in a serious auto accident. But there is a subtle message within the news of these events that I think is very important. These men were my friends primarily due to the mission work we had shared together in Haiti. Building homes, pouring the foundations for a new guest house, and adding an addition to the Center for Hope at Institute Henri Christophe. This shared work and travel bonded us together in ways that have lasted many years and which transcend the distances now between us. I like another word for teams: community.
The men and women I have worked with in missions have become an intimate and life-bringing part of my family. They are my sisters and brothers in Christ, but more than that they continue to share life with me in all the ups and downs I experience. Just as it was my privilege to pray for and lift the three men up who were injured, they too have prayed for me, offered me friendship and counsel, occasionally kicked my behind when I needed correction, and laughed both with me and at me! These are men and women who are only a phone call or a text message away.
When the news came to me yesterday it was a member of our first team who shared it with me. And the first persons I shared it with were other team members. Within a matter of minutes over 100 people who have worked together in Haiti at one time or another heard this news of these men’s tragedy. By the end of the day hundred’s more were aware of the death and injuries and were praying and having their own faith communities focus their prayers on these needs.
Communities or teams are essential to our life. They should be both intimate emotionally and creative in their activity. I have the honor of being part of several teams or communities which have extended into all areas of my life. From the church where I serve, to the mission teams I have worked with, all of these people are close to my heart and available in my deepest needs. Today it is my chance to lift up these men and their families.
Who stands with you? To whom will you turn in moments of joy or sorrow? These are the ones who will share life with you and with whom you will multiply your memories.