This past February (2016) my wife, Teresa, and I were walking out of a hotel lobby in Houston, Texas, to catch a flight home back to Arizona. Teresa had just been engaged in a conversation with a man named Steve James, a nurse anesthetist who founded an organization KenyaRelief.org. (Steve James has a remarkable story of his own. Here is the link.) As we were climbing into the vehicle Steve handed Teresa a copy of the book The Hole in Our Gospel by the CEO of World Vision, Richard Stearns. Teresa started reading it and told me that I should read it as well. I downloaded it and started reading.
Richard Stearns previously had been the CEO of Lenox. You know, the fine china manufacturer. He was challenged to become the CEO of World Vision, and take an enormous drop in income, to lead an organization that is an Evangelical Christian humanitarian aid and advocacy organization that was founded by Robert Pierce (who coincidentally founded Samaritan's Purse). Bob Pierce had written in the pages of his Bible "Let my heart be broken with the things that break the heart of God."
As the father of twin Chinese orphans, my heart is easily moved by hearing the plight of orphans. My Bible has highlighted James 1:27, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." (New International Version)
Reading Richard Stearns' book illuminates the tremendous need to the widows and orphans of Africa. I have found myself devouring the pages of this book with every free minute (and I think that even though Teresa had a head start, that I have surpassed her progress into it's pages.)
|Aerial View of Mbingo Baptist Hospital, Bamenda, Cameroon|
At the end of June we will be leaving as a family, along with our "son from another mother" Ty Nowatzki, to go and to serve at Mbingo Baptist Hospital in Bamenda, Cameroon, West Africa. An entire room of our house has become a staging area for 18 suitcases (donated by friends), that will be filled to 50 pounds each full of beautiful new German stainless steel surgical instruments, new reusable surgical gowns, 50+ boxes of surgical sutures, silver impregnated surgical dressings, a beautiful new surgical headlight and new pair of surgical loupes. These will be treasures to the operating room at Mbingo, where brand new top of the line surgical supplies are not easily acquired.
The suitcases that we are bringing will also be left as gifts for patients at the hospital. Luggage is extremely expensive in Africa, and considered a luxury, and therefore many people in Africa travel with bags and boxes filled with their personal items. One of the many things that my family will be doing is working with the many orphans living at an orphanage supported by one of the spin-off ministries near the hospital.
For all of you have have donated generously to this trip, we are incredibly grateful. Any money raised from now until we leave will be used to fund the annual expenses of the children at the orphanage. If you would like to be a part of our team, you can go to this link and type "Sawyer, Allan" into the box that says, "Find Dr./Medical Professional." Thank you! You are making a difference in the lives of thousands of lives by helping us to bring supplies, teach, and love on these people.