I don’t really know where this post is going yet, but I just felt like pouring it all out because of the week I’ve had, and in true Me fashion, I can write it better than I can talk it.
Some of you know that I’ve been working with Global Impact for a shipment of hospital supplies and other assorted humanitarian aid items to send to Morgan, my sister-in-law who is working to build a children’s home in Honduras. I thought I’d sort of document the process for those of you who want to know more, because I think it’s quite the story. So, if you’re into that sort of thing, read on, y’all.
It all started when I saw a post that Morgan shared about the condition of the local hospital. The gist of it was that the hospital had no supplies, no medicines, had their electricity shut off for failure to pay the power bill, and was generally a hot mess the way that only a third-world hospital can be. They’d been operating the OR and the ER with a gas-powered generator, and really didn’t even have the funds to put gasoline in it. Babies were being delivered with nothing but one precious package of sterile gauze, and people were doing without care. One local man cut off a toe and was given a small packet of Neosporin. You get the idea.
The thought of Morgan and her babies, or anyone and their babies for that matter, being in a remote area with no working hospital bothered me immensely and for whatever reason I wanted to FIX IT. The first thought that came to my mind was of Global Impact, a local non-profit organization here in Prattville that has been quietly and faithfully sending literally tons of humanitarian aid to missionaries serving in impoverished areas all over the globe. I knew of them because year ago we used to go to church with several of the people who began the ministry and who still work tirelessly to help missionaries be God’s hands and feet all over the world and when you hear about something that super kewl you don’t forget it.
So, I looked up their website and shot them an email roughly detailing what I knew of the problem, thinking they might could send a box or two Morgan’s way.
A week or two went by and I got a call from the Global Impact guys and before I knew it I was taking trips with Mrs. Pat, rounding up boxes of supplies from Christian Service Missions in Birmingham Alabama, which exists solely to serve as a warehouse to collect and distribute necessary supplies for disaster relief and overseas humanitarian aid. Before I knew it, by the grace of God and Mrs. Pat’s dogged persistence, we had collected about $35,000 worth of supplies. Miracle no. 1.
This was going to be more than a few boxes. All of this was to be sent via the US Air Force (‘Murica!) through the Denton program, which allows our amazing military to send humanitarian aid shipments on planes that are flying to those destinations anyway, free of charge. Research was done and it was discovered that our Air Force has landed planes on the airstrip next to Morgan’s property in the past for hurricane relief, so Mrs. Pat began filling out applications and the other appropriate paperwork to make it all happen.
We were told last week that there was a backlog in processing Denton-funded shipments, but Mrs. Pat instructed us to pray and the very next day Maxwell Air Force Based called requesting the shipment be brought to them immeditely, not only contrary to what we were told about the backlog but also bypassing a couple of routine steps. Miracle no. 2.
Earlier this week we discovered that the plane cannot land next to Morgan’s property after all and will instead unload the shipment at the base in Sano Cano…17 hours away from where Morgan is in Puerto Lempira. Impossible. I started to feel so discouraged, thinking that after all this time and work it might not even come to fruition, but sweet Mrs. Pat advised me to never pull back, only pray and press ahead in faith. Still, I felt emotional and almost weepy most of the day. Mrs. Pat made some calls and discovered that she knows someone who knows someone who is a medical missionary serving in Honduras, and they have access to transfer trucks. As of today, this network of people is working together on a plan to get the shipment, which must go by transfer truck and then boat to get to Morgan 17 hours away, exactly where it needs to be. This load of aid may even take a trip on a Dole company banana boat! Say what? Miracle no. 3, and somebody pass me some Dole!
This morning I spoke with a Chief Master Sergeant at the base. I’m scheduled to meet him at Maxwell Monday morning to see the shipment off to its first stop in South Carolina. From there it will fly to Honduras and once it arrives there’s no telling what sort of journey it will see between there and arriving in Puerto Lempira, but I’m no longer worried. I’ve learned that every plane and boat is really God’s anyway, and He’s just waiting on us to ask for what we need. That shipment of little shoes and hospital sheets and gauze will get exactly where it is supposed to be, exactly in His good timing, and I get to be a part of it and watch it all happen.
This is just the beginning, as this shipment doesn’t even contain any medicines because that’s a whole ‘nother ball of government-regulated red tape. This shipment looks and sounds big and it will bless, but really it’s also not sufficient for all the hospital’s needs. I don’t know exactly how it’s going to get done, but all I know is that I’m willing to do it.
When I sent that email to Global Impact, I really had no idea what I was getting into. I thought I’d tell them the need and they’d handle it and a couple of boxes would show up, but the truth is that if you follow that little whisper, which I believe is His leading, and just step out and DO in faith what you’re being asked to do…it will take on a life of its very own and you’ll know it’s not you because the things that happen to get it done are things that you can take no credit for anyway. You’ll most definitely encounter obstacles, but if you press on you will realize that every time things fall into place exactly as they were meant to, because it’s all His, y’all. It’s all His work. They’re all His planes. It’s all to His glory. He’s just looking for you to step up and believe it.
I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. -Eph 3:16-21