Here at International Aid we see many faces come through our doors. Whether it’s a truck driver here to pick up medical equipment and health products to transport to our partners in the field, a volunteer willing to roll their sleeves up and help us glorify Christ, a donor stopping by to drop off a donation, or someone simply seeking to know more about our ministry, new faces are a common visual in our building.
Every now and then I get the opportunity to sit and chat with some of the people that stop by. The stories of their lives, faith, and mission never cease to encourage me.
Recently, I had the opportunity to have conversations with a few different people and found out that their connection to International Aid began many years ago.
Dan and Julie Stephens, a missionary couple who are serving at Karanda Mission Hospital in Zimbabwe, were here in the United States and stopped by International Aid to pick up some medical supplies to take back to the hospital with them. While sitting down and talking with these two people, I could clearly see that their hearts are truly on fire for the mission that they’ve been called to be a part of.
The more we talked the more I began to hear about how Dan and Julie became a part of Karanda Hospital. It wasn’t that they heard a presentation about Zimbabwe or Karanda, it wasn’t that someone asked them to step out on faith and move to Zimbabwe to be a part of this, but it was something even better. They were raised in Zimbabwe while their parents served. Dan’s father was one of the first doctors to serve at Karanda hospital and was integral in the development of the hospital as it is today. Dan saw his dad’s heart for serving and helping the people of Zimbabwe that he knew it was his calling too. To serve those in need like his dad served for so many years.
Dan’s recent visit to International Aid reminded him of the many times he visited here growing up to get the supplies needed for their parents mission. Julie is also serving by being the main teacher at the primary school for the children of those on staff at Karanda Hospital. By serving those in need…they know they are serving Christ!
A week later during one of our Hygiene Kit packing events here at International Aid, I met two women who also had a deeper connection to International Aid.
Marilyn and Karen have been friends for many years. Both are nurses and have traveled on many medical mission trips. On the night that I met them, they shared stories with me about how they first came to know about International Aid. It was through their parents who worked in the mission store that was open at the time. At a young age they both saw their parent’s passion for helping others and serving the Lord through International Aid that they followed that calling in their lives.
Both became nurses here in the United States, but that didn’t stop their desire to want to help those in need in other areas. Medical Mission trips quickly became a passion for them. These women traveled, together and separately, on many medical mission trips and even distributed hygiene kits from International Aid on some of their trips. They both know the impact of these kits firsthand and are now giving of their time to pack hygiene kits to help change lives today.
Growing up seeing their parents as part of a life changing ministry, impacted their spiritual development and made them long to be a part of something that truly impacted others through the love of Jesus Christ.
Listening to these individuals share their stories made me realize the importance of sharing our faith and our mission with those in the next generation. It is evident through their stories that what their parents started and have shown them is what they have made a part of their lives and their faith.
We’re not keeping this to ourselves, we are passing it along to the next generation…
– Psalm 78:4
So often we think of the word “inherit” as cash and possessions or even genetic and personality traits. Yet the Bible talks about something else that can be passed down to the next generation, and it is the most precious thing we have: our faith. We should be intentional about passing our faith down to future generations. These stories of faith being passed from generation to generation are just another reminder for us here at International Aid that TOGETHER, we can do amazing things to reach the world for Christ!