Every single day God is at work around us, whether we are paying attention or not. He is always, always, always at work on our behalf just because He loves us so. Yet there are some days that He moves in such powerful ways to orchestrate events that we can only stand back and marvel at His goodness.
Let me tell you what happened last week.
Dw returned from Uganda in early April and not long after landing he found that a team of nurses wanted to GO in May and soon seven others had joined the team as well. So last week he left to lead the team of 11 to serve the Gems.
The Gems were in desperate need of G-Tubes and I put a call out on FB asking for anyone with any G-Tubes they could spare to send them along. Many responded generously and a few even sent money to help get the extra bins there. You all are incredibly generous – thank you!
On a side note, The Gem is always in need of G-Tubes (Minis or Mic-Keys – all sizes). There are zero G-Tube manufacturers or suppliers in all of East Africa. If you lived there and your child needed a G-Tube, you would have to find one for the surgeon to use. In fact one day a doctor came to Emma explaining that his child needed one and asked if Emma had an extra for the doctor’s own child. Emma was able to share one donated by one of you – thank you! The need is real and if you have any or can collect any, we will gratefully take them next month.
Anyway, after a year of no one being able to go due to CoVid there were so many necessary supplies (both medical and otherwise) that The Gem needed. Before long FORTY-ONE bins plus suitcases were filled around the country as the team prepared to GO. Forty-one!
Six of the team were flying to LAX to meet Dw and five others were meeting him at the airport in Europe. As it was the six heading to LAX ran into a snag at their airport before boarding for LAX. I will spare you the details but it was clearly the ticket agent who messed up big time. And in the midst of the mess-up two bins did not make the flight.
As Dw was flying to LAX, I received an urgent text message from a personal friend, Heather, who is mom to one of the team members explaining that two bins did not make the flight.
Oh no! It was time to go to prayer!
When Dw landed at LAX I was able to tell him that two bins had not made the flight. He and the six team members went to speak to the airlines. They were told the two bins would be put on the next flight to LAX. That might sound comforting but that wouldn’t work, because by the time the bins reached LAX Dw and the team would already be boarded for their international flight to Europe with a different airlines.
With that not working, the airlines then told Dw and the team that the two bins would arrive and be held for five days waiting to be claimed. If they weren’t claimed in five days they would be shipped to Texas to an unclaimed baggage warehouse. Ohhhh dear.
It was one of those times where you know that God is going to have to do something wildly miraculous to safely get those two bins to The Gem. Because it definitely looked impossible from our earthly vantage point. Yet we are forever grateful our God is the God of the impossible and good news – our Miracle-Working, Mountain-Moving, Awe-Inspiring, Gasp-Giving God was not only capable but He WOULD DO IT.
The team had figured out that both bins left behind included medical equipment that was desperately needed. How comforting to know that the God of the Universe loves the Gems far more than we could ever imagine and He knows how needed that equipment is. As we prayed we were reminded that from the ticket agent who messed up to the MIA bins to the timing of the teams international flight – our great God was not surprised by any of it. Nope. Tears welling – He was already at work behind the scenes.
Are you ready for this?
My friend, Heather, who texted me that the two bins didn’t make the flight told me that she had told their closest friend (and his wife) about the situation and had asked if he had any ideas of what they could do about the two bins. We’ll call her friend “Barnabas” because “Barnabas” means “Encouragement”. Our God was already working behind the scenes: Although “Barnabas” and his family live across the country, he works for an airline and he loves Jesus and he loves to serves others.
“Barnabas” talked the situation over with Heather and said, “Let me call you right back.” In minutes he called Heather back and told her, “I am going to get a flight to LAX and once there I will find the bins and will figure out how to get the bins to The Gem.” Just like that.
When Heather was relaying the story to me, I wondered how many people would drop everything to fly across the country to figure out how to get the bins to The Gem? “Barnabas” – what a selfless encouragement! He saw the very real need and dropped everything to meet it We are all in awe of his kind, willing, servant heart.
The next day “Barnabas” flew to LAX and although it took quite a bit of time he was able to find the bins (no small task), explain what happened, why it happened and get the airline (which he does not work for) to take responsibility for the ticket agent who messed up.
And just like that – “Barnabas” – this lover of God and encourager of man accomplished the task. The two bins reached The Gem Sunday morning, less than two days after the team reached The Gem.
God loves the Gems, He loves special needs treasures, He loves you, He loves Barnabas and His family. He just loves. It’s who He is and what He does.
Whatever your need, take it to Him. He is always at work, He hears your prayers, He is not surprised by any circumstance and He IS moving on your behalf.
And “Barnabas” you are a hero to us – not many would drop everything to meet this very real need. Thank you for loving others so generously.
PS Tomorrow (5/29) The Gem is doing their first medical outreach to the surrounding community. Emma asked an Ugandan doctor/friend if she would come and serve and she said “YES!”. The doctor is bringing another doctor and two dentists are coming as well, along with the four nurses on the team and the rest of the team serving however they are needed. Please pray for this first ever community medical outreach.