Transforming Power!

“Mom! My friend lightning bolt gave me transforming powers so I can run super fast. Do you want to see? I’m really good at fighting the bad guys. And my friend jaguar also gave me transforming powers. I can jump super far.” I have to admit that about this point I start to tune out. I’ve heard about the transforming powers of Joseph’s imaginary friends quite a few times. Perhaps that is why I started paying attention to other mentions of “transforming powers.” Do you ever notice that during a particular season, a certain message keeps repeating, from possibly every angle and source you encounter? First, there’s Joseph. Ahhh, the imagination of a 4 year old!

Then, Sunday’s sermon focused on the daily work of God bringing about the transformation of the world, back to the way He meant it to be, back to a world of peace and relationship, of co-existence and beauty. Based on Romans 8, the sermon highlighted the way in which the earth is groaning under the burden of sin… physically groaning with drought, flood, earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes as well as groaning under the strains of constant decay.   We, too, inwardly groan in expectation and anticipation of God’s transformation of us, making us believers, new and renewed. While we wait, we too can become instruments of transformation.

And here’s where the repetition of this message came full circle for me. Ed and Wendy Bjurstrom, founders of CareNow Foundation and co-founders of Compassion Tea, spent the better part of November in Africa. They arrived back the day before Thanksgiving and I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about their travels and adventures. One of the highlights of their trip occurred when they arrived at Mpika in Zambia. They were enroute to Chalabessa Medical Clinic and were traveling with another organization CareNow supports, Mission Medic Air. When they arrived in Mpika a certain young man had come along to help pick them up. His name is Waddington and Ed and Wendy had met him initially back in 2009. At that time, Waddington was 8. He had broken his leg in an accident and for three months the bones had gone without any proper setting or medical attention and a severe infection of the bone had taken hold. Finally, Waddington had been brought to Chalabessa where Sister Marta and the Mission Medic Team acted quickly knowing that if they didn’t Waddington would be severely crippled if he survived at all. They transported him to Lusaka where he was treated for his infection and where his leg was surgically reset. Ed and Wendy met Waddington back at Chalabessa a few months later while he was still on crutches. But this trip, Waddington had no crutches; instead, he helped unload the medical supplies from the plane and stood guard of the plane while Ed and Wendy traveled on to Chalabessa. In Ed’s words, Waddington today “is a happy, active and healthy 10 year old with a bright future.” Talk about transformation!

When you take a pot of hot water and transform it into a delicious tea… maybe Compassion Spice or Monk’s Blend or even a Sencha green tea… you are taking something ordinary and making it extraordinarily delicious. But even more, you are helping to transform the lives of people like Waddington, who, without the care of organizations like Mission Medic Air and the Chalabessa Medical Clinic, would live crippled and in pain for something so “simple” as a broken bone. Now, that’s transforming power!

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