From the desk of Dean:
There are many connections that are a part of our everyday life. There are electrical connections, travel connections, communication connections and the list goes on. Almost all owners' manuals, for the many things we own and use, suggest that we check for a "good" connection. I have come to learn that the most important connection we have is with God and then with His people.
God is the inventor of connections. He wants there to be a connection and to have relationships established. I have been called and blessed, along with my family, to be the connection between many people. Our short-term missions work has connected us with many people here in the United States as well as the people of Uganda , connections between the people who love, pray, support and make a difference in each others lives at both ends of the spectrum.
It is truly rewarding to see the changes in peoples lives even though there are challenges.
One of those challenges has been Aly's being sick after returning for our last trip. As Aly continues to improve many have asked why we would want to go back and chance her having a relapse or getting sick ourselves. Why would you want to spend that much time traveling to work in those terrible conditions and in a country that has so much difficulty? If it's money they need, why not just send the money? Good question. My reply has been that if we just send the money, it becomes just about the money. It needs to be about a connection.
This came to light this morning as I was listening to church service on TV. The pastor had relayed that early in his career, when the pay was low or unable to be met, he had received monetary gifts in the mail from anonymous sources. While this gesture was appreciated and came at just the right time he couldn't give exact details, even though he knew and recalled it happened, because the action had faded. He went on to say another time a family went to a local store purchased groceries and other items they thought the pastor and his family needed. This family then delivered and placed the items in the pastor's house for them. The pastor stated that he can tell you about this clearly because there were faces connected to the action. A relationship or connection was established.
In this age of multi-tasking and trying to complete as much as possible all at once yes it would be easier to just send the money. We could avoid giving up the comforts of home and not have worry about a variety of things that may happen as we travel however, the past 4 years has taught me the importance of making connections. God asks us to take the time and make the effort to focus on the faces of the people that have become a part of our lives. Through a large network of people we have been able to deliver much needed food, clothing and share God's word with hundreds of people in Uganda . We stress to these people that while we are the ones they see, there are many people involved in supplying the many items. We are just the "connection."
The next time God opens the door for you to help someone I encourage you to go through it, to make the connection, establish a relationship. God does His work through connections and through you and me no matter where we may be called to serve.