| Jul 02, 2013
As I neared the end of my Celebration Walk, I pictured God as somewhat amused that a guy who was almost 65 years old would walk 220 miles to celebrate His grace.
I also hoped that God was pleased and honored by this effort.
After all, the fundamental reason for walking the 220 miles was to express my thanks to God for His grace and blessing during my almost 16 years of service with Medical Teams International and my 41 years of working to help people in need.
Just as I found myself thanking God many times during my walk, I found myself thanking a lot of people as well. So many people helped. Those who walked with me. Those who hosted us for lodging and/or meals. Those who helped with logistics and communications. Those of you who read this blog. Those who prayed. Those who sent in donations.
Thank you to all of you.
A special thanks to Jeff Pinneo, the CEO and new president of Medical Teams International, for his support and encouragement before the walk began and at each step along the way.
And, a thank you to Beth Weibling, a member of our Redmond WA staff, for all she did with logistics, communications, walker coordination, prayer, moral support, technical advice as a former 60-mile walker, and her work with our great Redmond staff to assemble a “survival kit” which truly did help me overcome a variety of challenges on the walk.
Finally, I want to thank my wife, Lynn, who has walked with me on every step of this wonderful journey of serving the poor in Christ’s name for 41 years. As she has throughout our marriage, Lynn provided invaluable support throughout the walk. Lynn was unable to physically walk with me, but she drove with me from spot to spot, helping with food, supplies, lodging arrangements and safety issues. While Lynn’s logistical support was essential to my ability to complete the walk, her love, grace and encouragement before the walk and while I was walking were her most important contributions. I could not have completed the walk without Lynn, my lifetime partner and my best friend.
In many ways, Lynn was an unsung hero on the walk. In the same way, Lynn has been an unsung hero in her service to Medical Teams International. Over the years, Lynn has contributed more than 8,000 hours as a volunteer with Medical Teams International. That’s the equivalent of almost 4 years of full-time service. The value of Lynn’s service exceeds the financial savings to the organization. The value is calculated in thousands of lives touched by the REAL. LIFE. Exhibit, which Lynn helped to create and establish in both Tigard and Redmond. The value is calculated in the lives of our volunteers and the people we serve who connected with Lynn on our travel to the field. The value is calculated in the impact that Lynn has had on the growth and impact of our organization through the support, love and grace she extended to me during my time as president. I have some appreciation of the value of Lynn’s service to our organization over the years, but only God knows the full value. Thank you, Lynn, for your contribution to my walk and your incredible contribution to Medical Teams International and to the people we serve around the world.
As I approached the end of my service with Medical Teams International, I found myself sharing benedictions with people. And so, the final words I’d like to share in this blog are taken from Numbers 6:
“May the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face to shine upon you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up the light of His countenance upon you and give you His peace.”