On June 21st and 22nd, we had the privilege of having Dr. David Augsburger as the main speaker for the Advanced Conflict Transformation Workshop. David has been an avid supporter, encourager, and friend since the very inception of ReconciliAsian.
People came eagerly to hear the words of wisdom that effortlessly come out of David’s lifetime of experience as a pastoral counselor, mediator, and scholar, and they were not disappointed. The first two hours of his workshop on examining the entire Letter to Philippians from Paul as a a mediator alone were valuable enough to chew on for the two days. David also shed his insights on how Jesus handled conflict, challenged us on how to facilitate as leaders, and led a detailed case study to flesh out the contents we have been learning. All of these things were important nuggets to prepare us for the ministry of reconciliation. However, what really struck me (Sue) personally was not only David lecturing in front of the class, but what he did when he stepped away.
On June 21st, a great friend to both the Augsburgers and the Hurs was undergoing a major surgery at a nearby hospital in Pasadena. David left from his home at about five in the morning and visited our friend before he came to Fuller to lead the ReconciliAsian’s full day workshop from 9am to 5pm. He said he simply wanted to pray for the friend before surgery. Then, during the lunch break, David skipped lunch and quickly dashed onto his Smart Car and drove over to the hospital again to check on the friend and his family after surgery. After three minutes in the recovery room checking on our friend, David stepped out and headed back to Fuller to resume lecturing. From 5am to 5pm, David simply and sacrificially gave himself to serve us and his beloved friend in the hosptial.
This simple act of being with someone when they most need it is not easy, but to witness this small but intentional act was powerful, and it brought us back to the essence of ministry- the ministry of love. As we get trained and train others for the ministry of reconciliation, we must remember and live and love well. Thanks David, for exemplifying loving lavishly and reminding us that true mediators must live undergirded in God’s love.