Recent story by Executive Vice President Jacque Spence.
It takes a lot of work to prepare our specialty team missions. We have to recruit volunteers, coordinate with local governments, and gather all the surgical supplies we need well in advance. One of the more expensive and difficult things we must do is ship all of that equipment thousands of miles out to the islands.
After sending multiple shipments of mission supplies to Ebeye for our September dental and ophthalmic mission, we ended up with materials that couldn’t make it out in time for the teams. So, we found ourselves in a sticky situation—we would have to divide the remaining seven big boxes of supplies among team members to check in as luggage on their flights to the Marshall Islands.
This means we would have to catch team members as they flew through San Francisco, a fast-paced and busy airport. The layover schedule would be tight—if the planes bearing our mission volunteers from Pasco, Portland, or Seattle were late, there wouldn’t be enough time to have members leave their gates, grab a box, check it in, and go through security again.
Want to know how God worked out the problem?
Three of our staff—Sterling, Alexander, and I—flew to Honolulu at the end of August for a meeting. The night before I left, I was upgraded to First Class, which allowed me to check three of those big boxes as luggage. Amazingly, Sterling and Alex were able to check the other four without any extra charges!
Praise the Lord! We’ll be able to divide the boxes amongst the team in Honolulu without worrying about timing and space.
Moments like these remind me that our Lord has a guiding hand in the mission, directing not just our doctors’ hands, but matters as banal as luggage, too!