LWB's 7th medical exchange just started this week in Shanghai. You can read more about it on our main LWB blog at http://www.lwbblog.com Seeing the photos of the children has made me reflect back on the missions I have been on, and it made me think today of the very first international medical exchange we ever did, back in 2004. I can only smile when I think of that trip, as I knew absolutely nothing about sending a medical team to China, of getting medical supplies through customs or obtaining international medical licenses. All I knew was that there were babies in orphanages who needed cleft surgery, and I knew we wanted to help them. Thankfully everyone involved on both sides of the ocean granted me a lot of grace for my mistakes, and wonderfully.....SO wonderfully.....over 50 babies were healed.
It was on that trip that I met Dr. John Padilla, who has sinced tragically passed away. We were sitting on a bus in China when he first turned back in his seat to ask me, "hey Amy...if you could dream anything for your foundation, what would it be?" How's that for a question that makes you stop and think? And so I began to tell him what I dreamed of, about a day when no baby would be abandoned simply from being born with cleft, of a day when any family who was too poor to afford surgery for their child could have it for free, of a day when LWB would be throughout China helping kids. And then he looked right at me and said, "then make it happen."
Of course I tried to protest and tell him those dreams were too huge for our then tiny foundation, but he smiled with confidence and said, "Dream big.....dream big....dream big."
I can't help but think of him each time another LWB cleft trip happens. Because of John's encouragement to never stop dreaming, LWB now has a cleft home specifically for babies born with cleft. We have a Unity Fund for rural families who have children born with medical needs so they don't have to make the awful decision to abandon their children in order to get them healed, and we of course are now helping babies in orphanages throughout China. John's words have stayed in my heart that great things can happen when you do dream big.
So my question today is whether you have a dream of what you would like to do in this world. Is there something really big you want to do but you don't even know how to get started? Do you think you will act on that dream? Why or why not? Of course this mom from Oklahoma would encourage you to try....as I have seen amazing things happen when people step out in faith to help others.