After schlepping it up to my office (thanks to the willing hands of several passers-by), I unzipped it, only to find the case stuffed with priceless treasures!
I know you're thinking rubies, sapphires, and diamonds . . . but you're not thinking priceless enough! We're talking knee braces, wrist splints, and pediatric Miami-J Collars! It was an OT-at-the-edge-of-the-world's dream come true!
But you've got to hear the story behind it!
15 months ago, Black-Market-M gave me the stash of wrist-cock-up splints that had been hiding in the pharmacy for (probably) decades. They had been collecting dust and she wanted the shelf space. What I first thought would be a lifetime supply has quickly dwindled. Every so often a few more donated splints will make their way to my office . . . but they are always for the right hand . . . and more often than not, size small.
I was starting to get a little concerned about our splint supply. But then, a couple of weeks ago, we received a very large donation of knee sleeves, thumb immobilizers, and wrist straps. While I'm sure we will go through them in the next hundred years, they weren't the right type of wrist splints for the diagnoses that I commonly see.
So last week I started to pray.
I felt a little bit silly, praying for wrist splints. I mean, there are so many more 'important' things to pray for . . . my butterfly baby . . . my burn patients . . . the food shortage . . . the spiritual darkness of this country. I mean, really?? WRIST SPLINTS?!?!
But I did. I stood in my office and prayed that God would provide.
In the mean time . . . on the other side of the world, a lady I don't know, but who has a big place in her heart for Niger, was at work. Her company was moving some stock around and was going to clear out the dust collectors. And by 'clear out', I mean 'throw away' and by 'dust collectors' I mean 'brand-new splints and braces'.
You don't have to be in Niger to be a servant! You just have to be willing to be used!
In an email response to my initial 'thank you', D. wrote:
Old stock, discontinued items that were taking up much needed shelf space was going into the garbage. UGH. . . there is still so much potential in these products. I asked my boss if I could take them with the intent of getting them to Niamey. Sometime, somehow. . . it would get there when it was supposed to. He was more than happy to have them go to where there is true need. Now all I had to do was figure out how to get them there. God's hand at work for sure. There was a girl from my mom's church heading to Niamey, only taking a single suitcase and a very willing heart to take another bag with her.
I stumbled across your blog a few months ago and have been reading often. A. [a guy I know in Niamey], contacted me and told me that he thought the items would be of better used at this hospital outside of Niamey, called Galmi Hospital, what did I think of that. I love how Jesus works things out, I told A. I was very familiar with the work of Galmi because I had been reading your blog, and I was certainly o.k. with the items going there. To be used as God sees fit.
So happy that God used this girl on the west coast of Canada, to bless a girl in Niger, who is there from her home in the States to bless even more where the need is so great on so many levels. Isn't that just like our God to put all the pieces of the puzzle together way beyond our wildest dreams and imagination!So, again, D., THANK YOU! From all of us here in Galmi . . . especially me. Thank you for being a part of what we are trying to accomplish. Thank you for seeing an opportunity, without knowing how all the details will come together, and taking it. You are an answer to prayer!