Recently I’ve been exploring the city, looking for good running routes. One afternoon I found myself on a quiet road where I saw a young man, also in running gear. He stood on a corner with a huge smile, tiny legs, and a pair of broken sunglasses jammed on his face. I politely said ‘Hi’ as I ran past, half in my own world as I listened to yet another ’Stuff You Should Know’ podcast.
Thirty seconds later a blur of a legs and running shoes flew past me. It was the same young man. As it turned out he was doing his speed work on that road, and we stopped to talk.
Since meeting Sello that day, I learned that he is from the northern part of Lesotho and came to Maseru to focus on running competitively. He is passionate about it, and whenever he talks about future races he gets so excited trying to explain how fast he hopes he can go. Talking with him is not only good for my Sesotho practice, but a great way to learn more about the Basotho (people from Lesotho) city culture, and the dreams of some young men. I have been able to pass down to him some of my old running gear, and we meet regularly to talk about training, and nutrition and things like that. He even comes to work in our garden to earn money for hydration supplements. I love seeing Sello’s focus and passion for running. And our family looks forward to developing a better friendship with him.
One Friday during the last month, we put 3 mattresses down in our living room, made them comfortable with some blankets, and prepared to host 2 children and a staff member from Pulane Children’s Centre. The two children needed a consult from a very specialized doctor, who is only available certain times of the month, and only in Maseru. With us living here now, we were able to make the appointment and host the boys, so they could receive the care they needed from this doctor.
But for us, the visit wasn’t just about getting them to a doctor. In fact, the one boy, who has a troubled past, needs more than just one consult from a doctor. As we found out, he really needs people in his life who care for him, and who won’t give up on him.
During their visit we were able to take them to the mall, and have a special dinner at a restaurant with a play area and fun food they have never seen before. They even got to ride an elevator and escalator for the first time in their lives! More importantly, for 24 hours, they got to be the center of attention.
For Emily, in particular, sharing our home with our PCC family is a special joy and something she looks forward to doing frequently in the future.
That same weekend, on Sunday afternoon, I got a call from the on-call MAF pilot. He lives just up the road from us, and got an emergency call out to go to Qachas Nek (in the southeast corner of Lesotho) and bring a critical patient to the main hospital. He asked if I wanted to ride along, to begin the learning process of how these medical flights work.
We rushed to the airport, got airborne as soon as possible, and made it to Qachas Nek within an hour of leaving the house. This journey takes a full day by road. We loaded the young girl, who had been injured in a fire, onto a stretcher and into the plane. Then we headed back with the setting sun to Maseru, where an ambulance was waiting to take her to the hospital. The speed and proficiency that I observed during that flight revealed how much learning is ahead in the next months. It was great to be there, to help out, and see first hand what a difference these medical flights can make.
Different ministries, one mission
As I pieced together these three stories that stand out to me this month, it occurred to me that our role here as an MAF family is multi-faceted. Like believers the world over, we get to show others what we believe God’s Kingdom is like. Our job isn’t only to fly but rather to be here: building relationships, helping where we can, and using what we have been given to assist those around us.