Author: Loyd Jenkins
Now learn this lesson from the fig tree: As soon as its twigs get tender and its leaves come out, you know that summer is near.
It’s not quite summer. The earth has tilted—and is tilting more—allowing the sun to stretch the day well into the evening. Those of us in west Michigan experience the blush of morning at 5:30 a.m. The day then spreads until nearly half-past nine in the evening when the sun finally sinks into the blue depths of Lake Michigan with splashes of purple and orange in its wake. The warm weather and longer day sets us in a mood and feeling of summer, even though it is not yet. And that feeling is one of energy, of life, of expanding the growth of all the things that started anew in spring.
While summer is getting started, our year here at International Aid is wrapping up. We are in the final weeks of our fiscal year-end and working hard to finish well. So for some of us here in the offices we are having feelings of accomplishment. We look at our reports and budgets, and put into perspective what we will be challenged within the next year. But it’s not about the numbers; it’s never about just the numbers. It’s about life!
I was remarked by Bill Erickson, one of our Advancement Managers, one evening at one of our Hygiene Kit Packing events. We had over 40 volunteers come and pack shampoo, soap, toothpaste and brush, wash cloths and combs into bags and then into boxes. They had packed over 2,100 kits. At the end of the event, all the volunteers stood next to a couple of skids of kits to pray over the boxes that would be shipped. Just before they prayed, Bill had them consider who they were helping. “These boxes are not just filled with stuff,” he said. “These kits represent real people, real faces of those who are in need.” Therein lies the lives we affect.
So as I see the year-end figures begin to tally to the June 30 deadline, I realize that those numbers represent the thousands and thousands of lives we’ve affected, lives we’ve changed, lives we’ve saved through the hands of our partners. And those thousands could even be exponentially more. For one piece of healthcare equipment doesn’t help just one patient…. it helps many.