An amazing journey that almost did not happen…..
All of the medical bins on their way for lab set up today
Our team from Bridge Community Church had so many obstacles in getting to Gabon, it was such a praise when they all actually arrived over three days. The luggage was missing, but slowly trickled in and after about 3-4 airport runs, we had all the medical bins (although a couple of people are still missing their personal bags). While I could write about just the obstacles this team overcame to get to Gabon and serve with our ministry partners, I really wanted to focus on one story of God’s timing and amazing provision.
Randy Vinson, Pastor at Bridge Community Church had spent weeks collecting donated medical supplies from about 5-6 different hospitals. He was amazed at the generosity of the hospitals and some items collected included a dual-view microscope (with two eye pieces so two people can view the slide at the same time) that he mentioned more than once – he was so excited about that because he could use it to teach people how to identify what they were seeing on the microscope slide. Scales, centrifuge, gloves, syringes, etc. He kept a detailed list of what was in each bin in case any of them got lost. The loss of any bin would affect what he could use out of the remaining bins as he worked to set up the lab. He had ten bins for the lab and clinic, in addition to the Lab-in-a-Suitcase that will allow the lab to be mobile so some testing can be done thru the mobile clinics.
The story that I want to highlight is regarding the lab in a suitcase. Here is how it was told to me by Bridge Community Church:
“An overnight express mail envelope came in the mail on Friday a week before the team was to leave for Gabon. I knew Pastor Randy was at the place where the Lab-in-a-Suitcase was sold (several hours away from home), and he was debating whether or not to purchase it because he knew the funds had not been contributed to purchase it, at least not yet. He would not be able to go back to that vendor to purchase it before leaving for Gabon. As he told me the story from his viewpoint afterward, he had just decided to trust God for the funds to come in and decided to purchase it. Within minutes of that decision – unknown to me – I called him to see if I should go ahead and open the express envelope (to my knowledge we have never received an envelope like that at church) – he said to open it – it was a check for $4,700 – the cost of the Lab Suitcase. It was “almost” the exact cost because with the additional items the pastor purchased to go with it, the cost was just slightly more than the check. It really was a confirmation that God was in this; along with many other “stories” the team experienced along the way as they were preparing and right down to the last minute with the paperwork arriving just in time.”
The set up of the of the lab supplies for the mobile medical clinic
I am always so amazed when God shows up so clearly like this. I have seen this so many times now in my life, and yet it always gives me chills and amazes me that our God cares so much about us to show us, in very clear ways, that He is involved in every little detail of our lives and our provision. He wants us to always remember that we are dependent on Him and when we trust in Him, He is there.
There have been several stories recently that are clearly the hand of God moving in Gabon and for our partners in Gabon. It has been remarkable to see and we will send an email out listing just a few of these. We believe God has awesome plans for Gabon because His people there are so committed to serve Him and bring others to Christ.
In the last 2 days, we have done 2 mobile medical clinics, with over 96 patients treated, over 30 mosquito nets passed out (fundraising for the nets was done over months by a team member through selling Project Sunset t-shirts to generous, concerned friends) and at least 30 people between the 2 clinics accepted Christ as their Savior!
One brief story that Tim (our Executive Director) told me was that the team of OSPAC nurses and the doctors from our Bridge Community Church team saw a girl yesterday , who had broken her leg and had pins put in at a hospital in Libreville. The pins had caused infection and she had puss and fluid coming out of her leg. If the team had not made it out to the village and treated this girl, she would have lost her leg. We are so thankful that our ministry partners were there. This is just one example of what our team is doing to serve Christ in Gabon.
We are also amazed that although only about half the medical bins arrived with the team, all 10 of them where there in time to set up the lab today – another example of God’s mighty provsion!