Major Lee Ann Thompson reflects on her friendship with Commissioner Susan Bukiewicz

It was the summer of 1991 when I met my best friend, Susan Bukiewicz. My husband, Greg, and I were new lieutenants appointed to the St. Louis West Page Corps. Susan and her husband, Ralph, were Midland divisional youth secretaries. From the start, we clicked.

Those years were the foundation of a friendship that has lasted more than 30 years. We shared commonalities. We both loved the Lord. We were wives, daughters, sisters, and each of us was a mother to a girl and boy. But there were differences too. Susan was a city girl; I was from the country. She has four fabulous sisters and moved around the Midwest while growing up; I have just one sister and lived in the same house my entire youth.

As officers, we knew we wouldn’t be stationed in the same place long, but even after moving we continued to share ministry through the years. In fact, that may be the biggest indication that God forged our friendship. Despite living long distances from each other, our bond has grown stronger. There has been a current of connectedness.

We were privileged to be stationed together from 2010-2014 at Metropolitan Divisional Headquarters. Susan was director of women’s ministries, while I was women’s ministries secretary. Because our friendship had a strong foundation, we just kept doing what we had always done. We prayed together, cheered each other on to achieve goals, shared struggles and victories, laughed, cried and celebrated. We experienced much joy in our shared ministry. Those years were a gift that still bring a smile.

In recent years, ministry opportunities have put many miles between us, making the times we spend together even more precious. Interestingly, no matter how long it’s been since we’ve seen each other, it’s like no time has passed.

God planned our friendship before our first meeting. He’s provided for us the kind of relationship described in Colossians 3:14 (ESV): “And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”

My prayer for you is to have a philia kind of friendship with someone, authored by Him and full of every good gift.

 

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