Towards the end of a meeting last week the statement was made, “You are getting more than what is possible in an impossible time frame.” I’ll venture to say that pretty much sums up the Madagascar Advance.
This weekend the main element (team leader, port liaison, hospital liaison, healthcare education liaison and operations liaison) was finally in one city for two days and able to connect. After two hours of discussion I was humbled by the favor being poured out over us. The amount of work we have accomplished and information gathered in one month is nothing short of amazing. We no longer have a mountain to climb, now it’s just another hill.
And we are not stressed even though we are working long hours and weekends, and we are scattered across the country, we are just doing what we do. And if Benin was a beautiful lesson in believing for the impossible, then Madagascar is the fruit of that lesson.
When it looked more and more like the ship couldn’t go to Benin I started praying that I would be overwhelmed with God’s vision for the next field service. I had no idea what that would like but I knew it would be answered so I just kept praying it. Even in the first days in Tana when I felt I was living in a dream and trying to untangle and focus my heart while working on auto pilot, I still prayed to be overwhelmed.
And then I heard the comment my heart needed to hear, “Mercy Ships is coming at just the right time. Even if you had come in May things wouldn’t have been ready for this.” Let that sink in as you glance at the big picture…
At the beginning of May, we could not go to Guinea.
At the beginning of May, Madagascar needed us but was not ready.
At the beginning of May, we accepted Benin’s invitation.
And from May to August we worked hard and built relationships. We renovated three beautiful maternity clinics, we did business with integrity, we encouraged missionaries who were serving alone, we inspired local healthcare providers, we dreamed big and we loved well.
And then Madagascar was ready.
The Ebola outbreak is tragic and far reaching and we are just one of many organizations that has had to make difficult programmatic changes. But my God redeems and works all things together for good. It is not an accident or second thought that we are now coming to Madagascar.
I can’t begin to understand the complexities of it all and I won’t try tonight. But I do understand that Mercy Ships was exactly where we were meant to be when the plan was still Benin. And as we prepare for the ship to sail into Tamatave at the end of the month, we are again exactly were we are meant to be.
Nothing wasted. Nothing lost. Just something truly, overwhelmingly beautiful on the horizon.