Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Red Tape

Repost from March 27, 2016

I should have started this saga a while back.  You see, my African sister and I had this great idea that we ought to try to have a free medical clinic in the city as a way to share the good news of Christ's love for us.  That is what started us down the road we are now on.

A couple of years ago, we started with "what if?"  Over the next few months we did some theoretical checking to see if a medical team was a real possibility.  I'd never done anything like that, but I get so frustrated with the level of health care I often receive here and I have so much more to spend and better options.  One, after another, after another of my friends has lost a baby, or a sister or a parent because they were sick and couldn't get the care they needed.  Time after time since we've come here, the demand for help with money for a medical visit or a prescription leaves me trying to figure out how to possibly come up with all that we need so that I can give something.  The idea of having a free medical clinic is just a drop in the ocean of need, but at least it is something.

As I talked to friends and family, so many were interested in the idea.  For months we continued on in that line of thinking, but as the date for the clinic got nearer and nobody was buying airline tickets, I began to worry.  When we dropped down to less than 6 months out, I got really nervous.  I began to send desperate emails about our need.  My African friends were so certain that things would happen that they were already starting their evangelism push to go along with the clinic.  I wanted to hide in the closet because I had begun to think that nobody would come.  How are we going to get doctors and nurses to come with less than 6 months notice?

People began to help us look and within a couple of weeks, we thought we had a team of 12 coming from the US.  It was less than we'd asked for, but more than I had dared to hope at that point.  We started writing budgets and trying to find some funds for medicines.  We made plans and started jumping through hoops.  Slowly, slowly we worked the African relationship lines to get to where we needed to go.  The whole way through I've been scared silly that I don't have the know how to pull this off.  I have worried that we don't have time left to do what has to be done.

From January on we have had a series of super great moments where we found just what we needed but didn't think we would get, that would be immediately followed by some kind of horrible news that threatened the entire project.  Our hoped for team of 12 turned into a team of 3.  Our 30 national volunteers, turned into a huge financial burden for their transportation money that we couldn't pay for.  A budget that seemed to be covered turned into an endless list of things we don't have money for.  We've had so many blessings along the way and obviously glimpses of His grace in our lives as well.  The providential hand at work to make this happen has been quite apparent.  The opposition to its success has been equally apparent.  All I can think at this point is that I can't wait to see what will happen at this event.  It is surely going to be great.

The hard thing now is that the time until clinic is so short and our list of things to do grows rather than shrinks.  If you think about us, pray that we plan well, choose wisely and don't forget important things.  Speaking of which, there are about a thousand things I should be doing.

With Love,

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