Friday, September 21, 2007
Goodbye Massos . . . .
The Masso family lifted off this afternoon, barely. We actually had a couple of days of sun making their somewhat dicey plan of flying out feasible. But with five people and luggage the little plane did not reach an adequate velocity by the midpoint of the airstrip, so the pilot aborted the lift-off the first pass. That’s the first time a plane actually had to do that here! We thought he would unload some bags . . . But he just taxied to the very last inch and tried again! Whew.
Last night we gathered after pizza and Stephanie put on a slide show of babies, goats, water, team, swims . . . The Massos pour themselves out in food and water and care and technical expertise and planning and organizing and loving and . . The list goes on and on. We then surrounded them and prayed for their trip to the US. We hope to only have to survive without them for a few months (until January). But we know that when they come back to Bundibugyo, it will likely be for less than a year as they prepare to lead a new team into Sudan, pending board approval. This is part of our vision for our team here, to raise up and plant new teams doing holistic ministry among the poor in frontier areas of Africa. But even a good vision can be painful in the realization.
These pictures are from the airstrip today, lots of hugs. It was a very hard moment for Louisa (especially until the Pierces come back), JD (Karen is a very good friend to many of us but she particularly connects frequently and deeply with JD), and Julia (Acacia is the only team girl anywhere near her age). Oh, and Stephanie and me missing the wisdom and work of Karen on nutrition, and Scott who leans on Michael for so many things, we could go on and on. Part of being a community is that we depend upon one another, so we feel the absence of one another sharply.