Marine Sergeant Nicole Gee, age 23, died in an August 26th airport attack in Afghanistan, along with at least 12 other U.S. soldiers and at least 90 Afghans. A few days before, Sergeant Gee posted a photo of herself assisting Afghani refugees boarding a plane, desperate to escape the violence in their country. A week prior to the attack, Sergeant Gee posted a photo of herself holding an Afghani baby. “I love my job,” Sergeant Gee wrote under the photo.
Last week my wife Felida and I were blessed to receive the first dose of a Covid vaccine. After more than a year of waiting, a slight prick of a needle launched our immune systems’ defenses against a horrible disease. We have one more dose to receive but by early May we’ll enjoy the full measure of the vaccine’s protection. That doesn’t mean we’ll go all the way back to life as usual. Felida and I will continue to wear masks and keep a safe distance from others in public until the science says that vaccinated persons no longer need to do so. We believe that loving our neighbors means giving up some freedoms to make sure we’re not being asymptomatic carriers who pass the virus on to someone else.
We are in a season of waiting. Maybe God is teaching us patience as we learn to be thankful for what is rather than lamenting what is not. There is goodness to be experienced, and there is good to do. Our churches are gathering in new and different ways, and servant leaders across our district and the Desert Southwest Conference continue to share the light and love of Jesus Christ with the world.