Scott Couper & Susan Valiquette - South Africa
With the recent hurricane in the United States, the tables have turned. Who would of thought that Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Cuba, and Venezuela (despite Pat Robertson's call for Chavez's assassination) would feel moved enough to offer the United States assistance when it is in need? For a moment, even if brief, we, the greatest superpower in the world with billions, no trillions of dollars, are not invincible and can in fact benefit from the offerings of other peoples and places. Netherlands is offering to send experts on dikes and levies. China is sending emergency personnel. Venezuela is sending cheap oil, etc... In other words, we are realizing there is such a thing as interdependence. However, when we enter into partnerships, whether political or ecclesiastical, or social, we realize that we need the world as much as the world needs us as we can not "go it alone" just because we are more powerful, contribute lots to the U.N., or have a veto.
Assisting others is a means by which to express our interdependence on each other as people of God and of a community of nations. We go to Africa, not to be politically correct, not to be charitable, not to demonstrate pity, not to feel superior and self-righteous. We go to Africa to see what it means to be human, to hurt, to suffer, to laugh, to celebrate, to struggle, to persevere despite incredible odds. We give to receive. We help to learn. We go to learn we are not alone.
We in the USA have learned this past month how much it hurts to suffer. And we can learn to give as gracefully and appreciatively as we receive.
How does the song go? "Pray that I may have the grace to let you be my servant too?"
Shared by Rev Scott Couper
Scott Couper and Susan Valiquette are missionaries serving in South Africa. Scott serves with the UCCSA as pastor at a UCCSA congregation in Durban. Susan serves with the Inanda Seminary in KwaZuluNatal, South Africa as chaplain.