It was going to be a great Saturday. We were heading to the pool when my husband got the call. There was a woman interior in need of an emergency evacuation. She was having a difficult labor and both her life and the baby’s were at risk if she didn’t get to good medical care fast.
Welcome to the realities of being the family of a missionary pilot “on call.” Since we were already in town, our whole family went directly to the MAF dock/hangar so my husband could talk to the people requesting the flight.
As my three daughters and I waited in the car, I glanced back to see my oldest crying big, silent tears of disappointment. Swimming is one of her very favorite activities. She’d been begging to go for weeks. Finally, a day had come when we thought we could make it happen and she’d been ecstatic. Now, she wasn’t going to get to go swimming after all.
My heart broke for my little girl. For my husband and I, the change of plans was easy to take in stride. We understood the situation––we knew Sean was on call. And we also knew that we were here for the very purpose of helping people like that woman in the jungle. But to our eight-year-old little girl it was yet another disappointment.
Brooklyn and I spent a lot of time talking about how things don’t always go the way we want them to. We talked about that woman and her family hurting out there so far from medical help and how they must be so scared and worried. We talked about how God can use Daddy and his airplane to help and share Jesus’ love with them. We talked about how we can’t be selfish and that opportunities to go swimming will come again. The tears didn’t necessarily subside right away––it was a tough lesson.
We couldn’t swim but we could still have fun. I took my girls home and we pulled out the special tea set. We made scones and even added precious chocolate chips from America. As we gathered around the kitchen table, now dressed in our favorite dresses instead of swimming suits, we smiled at each other and bowed our heads to pray for Daddy as he flew and for the stranger he was on his way to help.
The following weekend (when Sean wasn’t on call) we went swimming!