Monday, July 28, 2008

A Friend In Need . . .

So the sofa saga continues . . .

My doctor called and, thank goodness, my elbow wasn’t broken. Just badly sprained. So why did it look like the Michellin Tire guy’s elbow? And why did it feel like it was frozen at a 90 degree angle? But, hey, I’ll take “just sprained” any day. Much better than the alternative.

O.K. I have a sprained elbow. What am I going to do about this house I’m redecorating? Heaven knows, decorating is NOT on the top of my skills list, and it was taking all I had in me just to take on the project in the first place. Now I was hurt, and finishing the project looked just about impossible.

The words to the Rihanna song kept going through my head: “S.O.S. Please someone help me.” Fun song, only I couldn’t dance to it.

I decided to put out an S.O.S. to my small group—a group of friends from church who meet a couple of times a month to study the Bible, support each other, and pray for one another. Our small group has been meeting together for probably 15 years or more, and our kids are getting older and busier, so the whole studying thing has pretty much gone out the window. The twice-a-month thing has gone out the window, too. So whenever we do manage to get together, we usually spend the time getting caught up with each other and praying for one another. That’s about all we can handle at this point in our lives.

But we love each other, and we’re there for each other in times of need. And, boy, was I in need.

I sent a quick email to most of the people in our small group (one couple was getting ready for a wedding, so I didn’t want to bother them). And by Friday afternoon I had a small contingency of friends who were ready to help.

Of course, I enticed them with pizza, but hey, whatever it takes.

We met at the missionary house around 5 on Friday and set to work. We hung pictures, secured hooks on walls, put together Ikea furniture, made beds, vacuumed, and generally rearranged. By 8 p.m. we had finished—and eaten pizza, too!

What would have taken me at least two 10-hour days to complete—with a good arm!—had taken our little band of workers just a couple of hours. It was truly amazing.

Someone said that it was like our own “Design on a Dime” project. Like the HGTV show where they come in and redecorate your house with something like $500 in a day. Well, this cost a little more than $500 and took more like two weeks, but, yeah, something like that.

The best part about it was getting our small group to work together for a common goal. A few of the people there had never been to the missionary furlough home and had lots of questions about this project.

Who pays for everything? The foundation.

Where do the missionaries come from? All over the world, but ours seem to come from Africa.

How do you raise the money you need? The very small rent we ask and one fundraising letter a year.

How long do they live there? A year.

How come I’ve never gotten a fundraising letter? I’m not sure, but you will next year!

Our friends’ interest was so gratifying. Working together was so much fun. It drew us together like nothing we’ve done before.

And for me, personally, it was a huge step. I’m not one to ask for help. It’s hard to humble myself and admit that I can’t do everything myself. So to put out an S.O.S. like that was huge. Really hard.

But to see how God answered that call and how my friends responded without even batting an eye and to experience this moment of service together was just so wonderful. A real blessing.

As we were leaving the house, one of the guys said, “Hey, we should do this again next year!”

No problem. We can do that. And I won’t even have to put out an S.O.S.!

1 comment:

  1. Hi. This is my 1st time here, and what a coincidence because I posted about the design shows today and my own challenge. I'm also highly involved in my chuch's small group (7 couples meeting for about 7 years now0, so I can totally relate to their support. AND I love supporting missionaries. I guess you can see I thoroughly enjoyed the post!