"...then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature." - Genesis 2:7
Try to put yourself in someone else's shoes: you're living in the rural bush of Zimbabwe, Africa--desperately poor with very few possessions. For quite some time now, you've been experiencing deep pain in your chest causing you shortness of breath, perhaps like trying to breathe through a straw. You've known other friends or family members who were unable to find any help when they fell ill or injured since the government has done little in the way of supporting healthcare, so you try to muster your strength and keep moving on. But, the shortness of breath and pain become more and more severe with time, and it is suddenly very clear to you as the fear rises in your throat, "I might die from this." Yet, you have no idea what is causing the pain and breathing difficulties. What happens next?
Sadly, this awful and scary situation is more than just a figment of your imagination meant to invoke empathy--it's actually someone's true story.
"We recently had a woman who presented with acute shortness of breath and was very close to death. We took an X-ray and found out one of her lungs had collapsed," reported our partner at a Christian hospital in Zimbabwe.
According to the Global Economic Symposium, "Across the world, 1.3 billion people have no access to effective and affordable health care. Low and middle-income countries bear 93% of the world´s disease burden, yet account for only 18% of world income and 11% of global health spending."
These statistics are embarrassing to quote as Americans, considering what the statistics actually indicate in-reverse: that high-income countries bear only 7% of the world's disease burden, yet account for 82% of world income and 89% of global health spending. It's the same report, just read backwards. The money stays where the money is.
But, in the body of followers of our Lord Jesus Christ, there is hope for the other 93%. Each and every day, all around the world, there are servants of Jesus faithfully working on behalf of the needy to provide medical care for little to no personal expense, for the glory of God. These servants include IDES partners at the rural hospital in Zimbabwe.
God blessed IDES with the opportunity to serve our partner hospital by funding a large shipment of vital supplies and medications to their location. Thanks to the generosity of the US hospitals that donated the cargo, and the loving folks who donated money to IDES Medical Care fund (that's you!), the shipment arrived safely in Zimbabwe and our partners were able to use the supplies and medications to help save precious lives in Jesus name.
Back to the report of the woman with the collapsed lung: "We quickly put in a chest tube and were able to re-inflate her lung and save her life. Those chest tubes come in the [shipment] container and are not even available here."
Praise God Almighty! Just as He breathed life into dust at the beginning of creation, He breathed life again into this poor woman's life by providing the treatment she needed just in time through His obedient children serving at the rural hospital.
"We are thankful that hospitals in the US have provided these life-saving items to help us in our work here. We are also thankful to IDES who made it possible to get these goods to us as soon as possible," our partner wrote.
We pray that you will join us in taking a deep, full breath of the life God has given us as we seek to serve the suffering in glory to His name.
Bale, Harvey E. "Finding Solutions. Together." Improving Access to Health Care for the Poor, Especially in Developing Countries. Global Economic Symposium, 2008. Web. 02 Feb. 2016. <http://www.global-economic-symposium.org/knowledgebase/the-global-