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Mission Regan: It Just Makes Sense!

Owen

Mommy and Owen

The snow is falling, we just got home, and all is well in our little world.  The kids are happily playing with their new toys and Josh and I are finally exhaling.  Just as we settle onto the couch, Josh’s phone rings and within minutes, he is out the door and on his way to the storage space to get medical supplies for an orphanage in Haiti.  You see, there is an outbreak of cholera in the orphanage where a friend’s little girl is waiting for her.  Their little girl and many other children have been moved to a sick house and they could really use some IV start kits, tubing, pediatric needles, and saline flushes.  Just so happens that we have some to give!

This has become how we do life and we wouldn’t have it any other way!  God knew that He had a plan for us…but a few years ago we never would have guessed that this is what that plan would look like.

Three years ago we were two broken people who finally decided to give up and let God take over our marriage and our lives. I was working full-time at a corporation.  Josh was working more than full time for a fire department and a pediatric urgent care clinic.  We had a sweet three-year-old little girl, Gracie, and life was just getting…well…more manageable.  We decided that it was time to add to the family.  God lead us to adoption; then God led Josh on a medical mission trip to Uganda.  God made it clear that our child, whoever he/she was, was in Uganda too.  Four very crazy months later we came home with our son!  Owen Mukisa has changed our lives forever.  He is the child that God always knew would become a Willis.

When we were in Uganda getting Owen, we couldn’t help but notice this sweet, oh-so-sick little boy who just broke our hearts. I had never seen a child so sick. He could hardly move and had to have his head propped up on his crib to keep his airway open while he slept. Every morning we woke up and went to the orphanage to see Owen. And every morning I was afraid to check on Regan, for fear of what I may see.  I was certain he had TB…or AIDS…or something awful that I had never heard of.  Finally, Josh couldn’t help himself and went to the nurse to see what was going on with Regan.

The diagnosis was bronchial pneumonia—something that kids in America get every day.  Something the pediatric clinic where Josh works part-time sees all the time . . . something that is easily treated with antibiotics . . . but something that kills if not taken care of.

Go back a few months with me…

When Josh got home from his mission trip to Uganda, he couldn’t bear to watch the clinic throw away supplies and medications anymore.  They would toss things like scissors, soon-to-expire antibiotics, clamps, saline, triple antibiotic samples, bandages, and lots more.  Some of it was surplus, some of it wasn’t needed, and most of it could be reused or used by someone else.  He just couldn’t watch these things go to waste, so he started to collect them.  The clinic didn’t mind…they wanted to help kids as much as they could!  It all added up pretty quickly, and we made sure to load a couple extra suitcases when we left for Uganda to get Owen.  We thought the orphanage or local hospital could use some of the stuff we had.

 

Back to Uganda…

The friends Josh made at the hospital were thrilled to see the tools they could now use!  (Josh even got to help them do a c-section with some of them!) Would you believe me if I told you that we just happened to have multiple vials of rocephin in our suitcase? Would you believe me if I told you that rocephin was a broad-range antibiotic used to treat bronchial pneumonia? Would you believe me if I told you that Josh ran faster than he had ever run before to get the medication and bring it to the nurse?

Well, it is all true!  He got it to her; she drew it up and administered it to Regan and lots of other children who needed it.  After a few days of touch and go, Regan started to improve. By the time we left, we were able to watch him scoot around, swat at his friends, throw a ball, and even laugh! He was a different child. We were in awe of what God had done!

When we got home God showed us that He had a plan. Before we knew it, we had hospitals and clinics giving us huge donations of supplies to give to others.  People who had too much…donating to people who had too little.  It just makes sense!  And it has been such a blessing to watch!  We have seen God place opportunities in our laps; all we have to do is say yes and get moving on the logistics!

We now have been blessed to send medical supplies to nine different countries!  We even get to use some of the supplies, like formula, first aid supplies, and diapers, for our own community and local shelters.  We are in the process of being granted our non-profit status by the IRS, and we can’t wait to see what God does in this coming year. The name—Mission Regan—just fell right into place.

It’s not always easy, but we know that we are right where God wants us to be.  What an incredible blessing that is to our family!  What a mighty God we serve!

See Josh tell the story in this video:

For more information or to donate to Mission Regan, visit their blog at http://missionregan.wordpress.com/

Photos and Videos

(may need flash player to play the video below, unfortunantly this isn’t available on the iphone or apple devices.)

Comments

  1. Thank you Pat!

  2. 1 year ago
    Pat Rutledge says

    This story brought tears to my eyes. I will pray for your wonderful ministry and for you and Josh that God continues to lift you up and give you the strength to continue HIS work. God Bless.

  3. 2 years ago
    Stephanie S. says

    It is absolutely amazing to see how God has worked through your family. It is incredible to see what He can do when you let go and let Him control everything. Your story is inspiring in that even though you only planned on changing one child’s life in Uganda by adoption, you changed many more by supplying medical supplies. You and your husband’s dedication to sending out medical supplies to those in need is truly inspiring, especially because you recognize that people in your own community need help as well.

  4. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this! What an incredible opportunity you have been given, with so many lives you are able to change and affect. I’m an RN, and before going to school I lived as a missionary in Western Africa. It has always been my desire to go back, I’m just waiting on God to give me the green light. :) Your family is in my thoughts and prayers as you continue to bless the children and people of Uganda. Take care!

  5. 2 years ago
    Jessica Kizito says

    What an awesome story! God put you and Josh in the right place at the right time to save Regan’s life. And He knew that you would be the perfect parents for Owen. Isn’t that wonderful! (You’ve probably been told that Owen’s name “Mukisa” means blessing. He’s blessed to have you and you’re blessed to have him!) With God things don’t just happen, everything by Him is planned! Thank you for listening to His voice. I’m from Uganda and can easily relate to those stories of lack of medical supplies back home, and I’m really grateful to God for using you and Josh to reach such orphanages and local hospitals that are in urgent need. May God’s favor be upon Mission Regan. And may the good Lord bless you and Josh for the wonderful work you’re doing.

    • Thank you so much Jessica! Hearing encouragement from a Ugandan woman of Christ really just means SO much!!! God is so good!!! And yes…we are all so blessed! God bless YOU!

  6. God is awesome isn’t He!

  7. 2 years ago
    Carla Sebolt says

    Can I just say…I am so proud of you! For listening to what God placed in your hearts and acting on it! God bless you in your good works…if you have newsletters or would be willing to send me details on how our church and small community in southern Iowa might help…I would love to share the news! I am also editor of a small newspaper here and would enjoy sharing there as well….

    • Thank you so much Carla!!! We would LOVE to spread the word as much as possible! Let us know how we can go about doing that. Are you on Facebook? We have a page up now with information, as well as our blog (www.missionregan.org). We will update that regularly. We will also be starting a newsletter soon! We will be sure to post when on both the blog and FB page. We can’t tell you how much the encouragement and support means! Really keeps us going! Thanks!!!

  8. 2 years ago
    Sandra says

    Thanks, Kama Massman, for sharing this for me…gonna share it with others…BLESSINGS to you guys and the ministry that you have!

  9. 2 years ago
    Susie says

    Courtney,

    It’s neat to see where the Lord has lead you. A few years back, I had lots of meds left over from my husband’s fight with cancer. When he passed on to be with the Lord, I had to look hard to find a place to donate morphine patches, etc., that added up to way over $1,000. Yes, at that time there were not very many organizations open for these types of donations. Finally found one that serviced Mexico; packed everything up and they were grateful to receive it. Praise the Lord that you and your husband heeded the call from Him to do this work and that he has blessed you with Owen and Regan.

    Susie

    • Oh Susie! I bet that was such a blessing to so many people in Mexico. What a beautiful thing for you to do while going through such a hard time. We could all learn a little something for you!

  10. 2 years ago
    Kama says

    So cool! I’ve enjoyed keeping up with what God is doing in your lives and the lives of countless people through your facebook! Can’t wait to hear some more exciting stories and see where else He leads. I have a great friend in Mexico City. I’m going to pass this along to her and see if they can use anything. She helps out at a young mom and baby home there. :)

    • That would be great Kama!!! Let us know if you find anything out! Appreciate the support!!! Miss seeing you in Mom Matters!!!

  11. 2 years ago
    laynah says

    Thanks for making me cry! This is such an awesome story of God working through people. The Ugandan kids are so cute (don’t you just want to squeeze Regan’s cheeks!?!). They are precious. May God bless you greatly!

  12. 2 years ago
    Jade Bossier says

    May God continue to bless you and provide everything you need to help meet the needs of these little ones!

  13. 2 years ago
    lesley says

    @Missy- If you watch the Coserve video that is posted, Josh, the gentleman in the video, says they are able to give items that are surplus and within expiration dates to low income clinics, etc in America. One thing I found so interesting to me, was that when I worked in a hospital, it is true, if any medication expires within one day or sometimes one week- the hospital discards it for the sake of covering themselves from lawsuits. The government has certain very strict laws re: medication for the reason of keeping expired meds off the shelves. However, the pharmacists and dr’s on staff all know that most meds (depending on the type of med) would still be good anywhere from 3 months to one year after expiration date- they just can’t hand them out by law- they can safely be used where there is not this type of laws- ie. 3rd world countries. One of my girls dr.’s tells us to use her daily meds up to 6 months after the due date-
    The same goes with food at restaurants. The heath dept. state that foods must be thrown away if they are left over and unused for the day of business, while it is perfectly safe and fit to eat. So pounds of wasted food are thrown away instead of passing them out to the poor, homeless or underemployed. It is a problem, but here- Mission Regan is part of the solution in regions of the world where there is no medical care or instruments used to treat. Thank you Mission Regan for thinking outside the box!

  14. 2 years ago
    connie says

    Awesome . keep up the good work we need more people like you,your story brought tears to my eyes. God is working through you. What a wondering blessing that is. God Bless You.Keep Up The Good Work You Are Doing For Those Kids…

  15. Very touching story! I love how life’s little events are orchestrated together into bigger things than we could have ever imagined. God is so good at being who He is!

  16. 2 years ago
    MISSY mELHEIM says

    I am so glad there are people like you who think of kids. We have a fiend from church who spends two weeks a year in eastern europe working in a clinic there and then several weeks a year in Africa working in villages with other doctors who donate their time It would be nice, several of these medical supplies you see here in the states could go to our children of low income families and some do but there is also a lot of sickness here and moms can’t get the medicine needed because its too much for them but glad you can save children acroos the world from here

    • Hi Missy! Just wanted to let you know…we are blessed to say that we are actually able to give some of our supplies to local families! :)
      We donate supplies to both The Samaritan Inn (our local homeless shelter) and Hope’s Door (A Battered Women’s Shelter). We also are happy to help people who happen to come our way through word of mouth. Though there are a lot of legal restrictions in our country, and we have to be careful, but we are eager to find more connections for giving to those in the US. If you should know of a contact for us to expand that, please let us know! Thanks so much for the encouragement! God bless!

  17. 2 years ago
    Chris Olsowsky says

    When our I approached the hospital I and my husband worked at years ago for contributing such items, the answer was no for legal reasons. However, my daughter who worked in a private doctor’s office found the doctor’s group were glad to donate the items or missions team were requesting.

    • Hi Chris! Yes, we have run into some legal restrictions – especially locally. But, we just try to keep on keeping on! We have found that it is MUCH easier with smaller, private offices, like you said. Great minds think alike! :)

  18. 2 years ago
    Vivian Teague says

    How awesome is our God! That is such a beautiful story. I pray for your mission that it will continue to grow and grow.

  19. 2 years ago
    lesley says

    With tears in my eyes as I read this article, I am thankful for a God that loves Regan so much, He put you and your husband with the medicine Regan needed to survive. This is no accident. This is God at work, using His people, to make a big difference in just one life. And this is God’s love. Thank you for your willingness to be used by God, for putting your ‘Yes’ on the table and being a vessel for God’s love and light. HE is shining brightly through you.

  20. 2 years ago
    Brenda says

    Awesome! Your story brought tears that made it hard to continue reading. God lives and is at work.