Wednesday, July 1, 2009

I had the great opportunity to share tonight at the high school camp at Epworth. They were doing different stations, talking about different kind of oppression. My area was preventable oppression, specifically medical and diseases. It was such an honor to share and I felt one of those moments where God was able to use me. When I was living in Haiti and going through some tough experiences, I remember thinking, "why do I have to go through this? I don't like it one bit and it hurts too much God". Well... He created me for such a time as this and I firmly believe that I was supposed to have those experiences in order to be able to share with the kids tonight. I'd like to share a bit with you on what I talked about

When you have a headache what do you do? take some medicine right? How about a fever? the same. Where do you get it? A medicine cabinet right? We all have those with every medicine under the sun that we MAY need some day. And if the meds don't work? You see a doctor. Friends, all of what I just mentioned is a complete luxury. We are a minority in this world that has such great access to medicine, medical assistance, even clean water to wash our pills down with! Do you know how many people are dying TODAY from diseases that are completely preventable?

When I lived in Haiti, one of the things I helped with was medical clinics. I would translate for the doctors and nurses who would come in for a few weeks. I did not enjoy this job. I do not do well around blood, sickness, and the hurt in general was just so hard to bear. But that was where the need was so I went.

On one specific clinic, we had traveled up to the mountains, way up there. It was a three hour walk up a steep mountain. People had waited in line for hours to see the doctor and get some medicine and a little love. One lady came in with her baby who was maybe 2 months old. This lady was probably more of a girl, she looked young. She said her baby had diarrhea and couldn't keep anything in. Oh.. when I looked down at this precious little thing... she was so so tiny, just skin and bones. Listless, almost lifeless. Friends, one of the hardest things I've ever had to do in my life was to pray/translate with this mother that Jesus would take that lovely little bundle in his arms and take her home. She probably didn't make it home that day.

It's been 9 years since this happened and my eyes still well up with tears when I talk or write about it. THIS IS NOT RIGHT. Babies should NOT die because they don't have clean water, or access to a doctor, or food to eat. NOT OK. But this is happening RIGHT NOW all over the world.

  • in Africa- there are over 11 million orphans from AIDS
  • 9 million people need immediate drugs for HIV/AIDS and only 30% of that number are receiving them
  • Since last August in Zimbabwe 4,000 have died from cholera
  • Over 500 million are affected by Malaria all over.
  • 1 million die from it (I had malaria in Haiti.... awful sickness! but I was able to call in and get some medicine, just like that....)
  • EVERY DAY 34,000 children under the age of 5 die from hunger

  • EVERY DAY 50,000 people die from preventable diseases. Let me make it a bit more real for you. That's like the city of Elkhart- dying. EVERY DAY.

I'm not trying to share this with you, just to make you sad. Just to ruin your night. I want you, I want me, all of us, to be aware. THIS IS HAPPENING friends. We can pretend it isn't or we can know about it and learn how to make a difference. We've all heard the story of the little boy walking along the beach throwing starfish back in the water. There are hundreds and hundreds of them. Someone comes along and tells him he can't save them all. He just looks at that person, picks up a starfish throws it back in the water and says "I made a difference for that one"

Please, please spend a few minutes tonight thinking about this. Pray that the Lord will show you where you can make a difference. There are places everywhere, here in the U.S. and all over the world that you can join with in helping. If you need some ideas, let me know and I can give you some.


"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for a few good men to do nothing"
Edmund Burke


  1. Thank you Shan. It is so easy to forget about the suffering that goes on in our world. We go about our daily business and rarely give thought to what you just wrote about. Thank you for the reminder and for sharing your experiences in Haiti.

  2. I Thank God for your willingness to follow Him into some incredibly uncomfortable siutations. I thank Him that you were able to make a difference! I thank Him that you are my friend! Thanks for sharing Shan, I love your heart for Christ and for missions!