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Friday, June 13, 2003

Moving Day-I had a couple of reasons being late with today's Edifier. The first was getting in at midnight from my Melbourne class and the second was helping some friends from church today, Mac and Darrel Renfro, pack up their moving van for a move to Colorado, where they are moving to look after Mac's mom. Mac's been an instructor at HEART for 20 years. We weren't able to make it to his going-away party two weeks ago, but I left this letter to add to the scrapbook.
While I didn’t have any interaction with Mac on a professional level, I got to know Mac and Darrel via the Lakeland Vineyard and the Lake Wales home group that they were a part of. I appreciate Mac’s humor; it’s so dry that it needs underground drip irrigation. I appreciate the creativity and ingenuity that he applied at HEART and inculcated in his students, teaching a generation of Third World McGuyers on how to build electricity-free pumps and how to turn outhouse vents into Fly Motels, where the flies check in but don’t check out, as well as multiple ways to build water-holding containers. I appreciate his dedication to the Lord and his unspoken vow of modest living. A man of his talents could be making big money as a project engineer, yet works for a fraction of what he could make in the business world to teach people how to function in the developing world. I saw the respect that this knowledge and dedication generated when I visited ECHO earlier this week; many of the ECHO staff were HEART alums. They all wished Mac would retire to ECHO when he gets done looking after his mom. The kind of ingenuity he teaches was transferred down to Fort Meyers and around the world. I see overcomers. Both Mac and Darrel are confident in God’s ability to get them through any situation. While they might be critical, they are also confident that a solution is behind the corner and that God will give them the strength to hang in their until a solution is found. That spirit is infectious; Darrel’s council has helped my wife Eileen on numerous occasions when Eileen struggled to find her place here in Florida. I saw a godly man. Not ever man will put his career on hold in order to take care of his parents and not every wife will let their husband do something that godly but that “stoopid.” However, the one of the Ten Commandment that has just a positive promise is “Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be prolonged in the land which the LORD your God gives you” (Exodus 20:12 NASB). Mac is doing just that. A lesser man would have stashed his mom in a nursing home, keeping his good job at HEART and Darrel’s teaching job. However, both of them are heading out to Steamboat Springs to look after Mama Renfro. Godspeed, Mac. You’ll be missed. Yours in Christ, Mark Byron
Yes, he will be missed indeed. I'm expecting a multi-Kleenex moment when Eileen and Darrel part ways at home group this evening.

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