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We're Partners

We're Partners

01 April 2010

Today’s Reading: Judges 11-12; Psalm 50; 2 Corinthians 1

Scripture:

We’re not in charge of how you live out the faith, looking over your shoulders, suspiciously critical. We’re partners, working alongside you, joyfully expectant. I know that you stand by your own faith, not by ours. (2 Corinthians 1:24 MSG)

My friend Dr. Vicki Owens served for years as Professor of Psychology at Makarere University in Kampala, Uganda. I admire Vicki for her development and demonstration of the comfort and counsel ministry of Jesus in a nation whose soul has been so wounded by the atrocities of Idi Amin and the ravages of AIDS.

In 2006, Vicki was named a Woman of Distinction by Washington State University for her service in East Africa. These statements about Vicki really spoke to me:
• After realizing that a single counselor can only help a finite number of people, she moved from counseling to training counselors.
• She has mentored scores of men and women, envisioning and empowering them to build healthy communities and to achieve their dreams.
• She has the best type of impact – changing people one-on-one, face-to-face and by personal example.

Like Paul, who partnered with the Corinthian believers to help them grow and live their own faith, Vicki has worked alongside the people of Uganda to establish an awareness of how to heal wounded souls and create self-reproducing ministry that will reach far beyond herself and keep growing long after she has finished her work.

Paul the Apostle understood and my friend Vicki Owens understands these truths:
• Authority must give way to influence to last beyond one’s own life.
• Doing good is good, but equipping others to do good is better.
• Seeing the fruit of one’s labors and receiving the recognition of one’s peers is good, but to one day hear Jesus say “Well done!” is better.

Prayer:

Father, Thanks for the words of Paul and his example of helping others become what you dream for them. Thanks for Vicki’s example of how to invest one life, over the long term, and make a difference in defining how a nation cares for its wounded souls. Help me to remember that the power of example and influence live beyond the power of authority. Amen.

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