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.)