A team of seven architects and engineers from Engineering Ministries International (eMi) arrived at the Cooper-Benitez-Hebert-Waggoner B&B at 2:30 am Saturday morning. Four of the members were from Edmonton, Calgary, and Vancouver in Canada. Three members were from Washington, D.C., Cleveland, and Dallas in the U.S. It was a very diverse group, both geographically and culturally. However, they all shared the same deep commitments to ministry, serving, engineering, and architecture.
Many of the team members had not known each other personally before this trip. Therefore, time was set aside Saturday night to give testimonies about their lives and how they arrived at Engineering Ministries International (eMi). Members of the FEDICE team were also included, though we had obviously not been associated with eMi before the wee hours of Saturday morning. By the time we were through learning about each other's journeys to this point in time, I think we felt we had known our fellow travelers all of our lives. I know I felt that way. Each one of us had a pretty remarkable story to tell.
Before Marilyn and I went to sleep, we remarked on the recurrent themes of the testimonies. One was, of course, a strong belief in God. Another was a strong desire to make our world a better place by using our various talents and skills for the benefit of all. But another recurrent theme that some may not have quite expected was the theme of loss, hurt, and healing - the healing power of Jesus Christ. Nearly everyone had a story to tell that touched on this theme. It's possible that most of us have to experience loss, hurt, and healing before we can truly understand how to connect with and love every one and every thing around us.
During my testimony, I mentioned respecting people and helping people. I'm sorry I forgot to mention loving people, because I certainly believe in that. It may be spiritual love, it may be platonic love, it may be romantic love, it may be open-minded love, it may be tough love, but, in my heart, I know beyond doubt that we are hard-wired to love one another.