We Need Each Other

Recently Michele, Judy (the lady who envisioned the medical clinic), and I were in Tanga working on a seemingly endless list of things to do. Almost finished with our list and later in the day than we usually leave, someone pointed at my tire and said those dreaded words I’ve heard so many times, “puncha puncha.” It took a while but I finally found someone to fix the flat tire, and off we went in the dark, something we don’t like to do on rural African roads.

Half way home we passed over a really rough patch of road, but this time it seemed worse than normal and lasted longer. That’s when I stopped and saw that my tire was completely flat, smoking, and ruined. The car was also on uneven ground and a sharp curve. I slowly moved our vehicle to a safer place and sprang into my “a bit nervous fast action mode,” instead of being calm and prayerful in such a situation. It was dark, we were stranded in the middle of nowhere, and on a dangerous curve. I knew I had to get it done!

Michele on the other hand was helping me and trying to keep me calm, as she usually does. We had no flashlight so she was using the light on her cell phone as I lay under the vehicle trying to unjam the spare tire chain mechanism. She was even singing a Christian song. Judy was on the phone, though we were barely in range, asking those back at the house to pray for us to successfully change the tire and make it back safely. And we did make it back, eventually, and praised God for His care and protection.

As I later thought about what happened, I realized that each played a critical part, each had a different function (Rom. 12:4). Judy prayed and included others. I was going fast but changed the tire quickly and safely. Michele assisted and helped everyone stay calm. We all needed each other (1 Cor. 12:21).

This principle has been on my mind of late as we have worked to start a small medical clinic here in Tanzania. We all do our part to make it work. We have our smiling receptionist, nurse, doctor, lab man, pharmacist, administrator/minister, janitor, and the guards. All play an important part. If one fails it hurts everything. We need each other.

Michele and I live in the same house with many of the clinic staff. Different people from different tribes and different countries (a situation we have not experienced in the past), and it is sometimes hard. My natural tendency is to want to get away from difficult relationships, but we still need each other, even when customs clash and personalities differ. God can use our differences and interactions to teach us patience, forgiveness, and unselfishness and to show the world Christ’s power working in and among us (Rom. 15:1; John 13:35).

Only God knows how much we need each member of the Singing Oaks family and others who have supported and petitioned God on our behalf over the years. I cannot count the number or even know all the times we were in some kind of danger (sickness, bad roads, witchcraft, robbers, etc.) that could have stopped our work, or taken our life. We need you. We need your prayers. We truly need each other.

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