Yesterday I helped take care of a 15-year old who sustained a terrible fracture of his leg just above the knee. Under anesthesia the bones were pulled back into alignment but his foot became cold and pulseless. An ultrasound exam and Doppler confirmed an injury to the artery right behind his knee.  We took him immediately to surgery where I found the artery to be injured and clotted, perhaps from the sharp piece of shattered bone adjacent, perhaps from the stretch of the artery at the time of injury. I was able to locate the injury and repair the artery with a piece of vein from the other leg.  At the completion of the operation, he had bounding pulses in his now warm foot.
As I drove home last night on a little motorbike, with the cool nighttime breeze in my face and the immense moonless black sky above and the smell of the fires saturating the air, my heart was so full of thanksgiving and gratitude that we had been able to help this young man. So thankful that he didn’t lose his leg. So thankful that he will have good function and be able to work and provide for himself and his family.  And I am so thankful that many, many years ago, some very skilled surgeons and mentors taught me how to do vascular surgery. And because of their teaching and instruction and effort, a young man in remote Africa is reaping the benefits this cool, dark night.
So thanks to Dr. Kent Westbrook, Dr. Robert Barnes, Dr. Raymond Read, Dr. Fred Caldwell, Dr. John Cone, Dr. Steve Golladay, Dr. Hugh Burnett, Dr. Everett Tucker and many others who helped this young man and many others like him in this tiny little mission hospital in Africa.  
And thanks to all who are giving their lives to educate and train and invest in and believe in the next generation.
            We build on foundations we did not lay.
            We warm ourselves by fires we did not light.
            We sit in the shade of trees we did not plant.
            We drink from wells we did not dig.
            This is as it should be.
            Together we are more than any one person could be.
            Together we can build across the generations
            Together we can renew our hope and faith in the life that is yet to unfurl. 
            Together we can heed the call to a ministry of care and justice.
            We are ever bound in community.
            Many it always be so.