Steve James, President and Founder of Kenya Relief, shared the testimony below with us that was written by Jo-Ann Caron. It is an incredible testament of the way God works. We pray the 2018 M3 Conference brings many more stories like this!
The hustle and bustle of the holidays have ended and as I took some time this morning to plan out my coming week, I realized that I will soon be leaving on a medical mission to Kenya…and that’s when the panic set in. So I am typing this note to you to quell my inner anxiety and to tell you how you are partially responsible for my to trip to Migori.
This past February, I attended the M3 Mission Conference at Lakewood Church. To say that the hand of God led me there would be an understatement, because up until one month before, I was unaware that Lakewood Church or Joel and Paul Osteen even existed!! But that is a story for another time.
I didn’t go to the conference with an agenda, I just knew that God had sent me to Houston. I signed up for a breakout session titled, ‘No Boundaries to Love: The Perfect Place to Start Your Medical/Surgical Mission’, because it sounded interesting. When you began your presentation, I was immediately drawn in by your personality and the incredible story of how and why Kenya Relief began. That still small voice said pay attention. But as often happens, that other voice told me I was not what you were looking for. Yes, I’ve been a nurse for over 35 years but my expertise has been in OB. Plus I ‘retired’ from my hospital based position and have been conducting wellness and vaccine clinics. I have not been in an OR in 3 years. I left the session and thought, ‘I guess this is not for me’.
Over the course of the 2 and 1/2 days, I kept walking by the Kenya Relief Exhibition Booth but was too afraid to approach for fear ‘I wouldn’t be good enough’. At the close of the conference, Caleb, who was the emcee, addressed the conference attendees. He felt led to say that there were a few members of the audience who had been walking by a particular booth for several days but fear was keeping them from moving forward…fear of not being good enough, fear of the unknown, fear of stepping outside your comfort zone. His challenge was to get up and approach that booth and Just Say Yes!! At that moment in time, the message to me couldn’t have been more clear.
I left my seat and headed to the Kenya Relief booth. As I approached, you looked up and said the most incredible thing….’we’ve been waiting for you’. Wow!! I left Houston with a lot of information and went home and prayed.
On Jan. 19th I will arrive in Nairobi and meet the members of Team 2. All those fears I had in Houston have begun to dance in my brain and gut once again!!! But I go confident in the ‘One’ who has sent me there. See you soon…Jo-Ann Caron”
Leader of Samaritan’s Purse and past M3 Speaker, Ken Isaacs, Nominated for Director General of the United Nation’s International Organization for Migration
M3 would like to congratulate one of our past speakers, Ken Isaacs, on his nomination for the next director general of the United Nation’s International Organization for Migration (IOM). Mr. Isaacs serves as the Vice President of Programs and Government Relations for Samaritan’s Purse and plays a key role in their international relief efforts. With 35 years of experience organizing relief plans helping control the flow of migration, Isaacs seems the perfect fit for the IOM position, whose agenda involves handling one of the largest forced migrations due to a global refugee crisis.
Most recently, Ken Isaacs has served in relief efforts in Iraq, including setting up the first field hospital in Iraq in 2016, like the one that will be on display for tours at this year’s M3 Conference. Mr. Isaacs is currently involved in providing aid to Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.
We applaud the work Ken Isaacs and Samaritan’s Purse are doing around the world to help bring relief and aid to those who need it most. We are proud to call them partners of M3.
Click here to read more about Ken Isaacs’ nomination.
Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief organization, specializes in meeting critical needs for victims of war, disaster and famine. For decades, Samaritan’s Purse deployed mobile medical teams into disaster zones, but they still saw a pressing need for advanced emergency trauma care. In 2011, the organization began actively developing the emergency field hospital—a mobile unit that functions as a complete hospital equipped with two operating rooms, an emergency room, critical care unit, and pharmacy.
The emergency field hospital is mobile and ready to deploy at a moment’s notice. It provides emergency medical relief in disaster-stricken areas where the medical infrastructure is damaged, overwhelmed, or nonexistent. Participants at this year’s M3 Conference will be able to walk inside the wards of the emergency field hospital, see first-hand how it is equipped to facilitate high-quality care anywhere in the world, and meet members of the Samaritan’s Purse medical team who have treated earthquake survivors in Ecuador and victims of war in Iraq.
From the outside, the Samaritan’s Purse emergency field hospital looks very similar to the mobile hospitals used by other organizations. What sets it apart, however, is that the medical work that goes on inside is about both physical and spiritual healing. Medical personnel and non-medical staff minister to patients, pray with them, and share the hope of the Gospel in the midst of the disaster.
We encourage you to visit the mobile hospital during M3 to learn how you can join Samaritan’s Purse in providing high-quality medical care after a crisis.
Read more about the life-changing impact that the field hospital has brought to patients in need.
Click here to register for the 2018 M3 Conference and experience the Samaritan’s Purse emergency field hospital for yourself!
We at M3 hope you had an amazing Christmas and were able to enjoy this special time of year with the ones you love. To help the Christmas celebration continue, we have another 2018 M3 Conference speaker to introduce to you. Yancy Stermer is definitely nothing short of interesting, and we are so excited to have him as part of the team this coming conference!
Retired from the US Army after 21 years of service and 7 more years in uniform teaching JROTC at a private military academy, it was time for a career change. Yancy went back to school completing a degree in Surgical Technology and certification as a Surgical Assistant. In 2012, he was introduced to medical mission volunteerism and has been making routine trips to Guatemala. In 2017, he served on the Samaritan’s Purse Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) at their Emergency Field Hospital (EFH) in Northern Iraq.
To learn more about Yancy’s personal experience in Iraq, click here to read his article entitled Privileged to Serve, which was published in the December 2017 issue of The Surgical Technologist. Yancy’s story can be found on page 32 of the link or page 560 of the original publication. Yancy specifically talks about his experience as part of the DART team working in the EFH in Iraq, and his article is so inspiring.
In addition to Yancy’s Plenary Session segment, M3 is also highlighting disaster response in other areas of the conference. We will host a Pre-Conference Workshop that will provide DART training, which we will share more about at a later date. Also, Samaritan’s Purse will set up an Emergency Field Hospital for conference attendees to experience, walk through, and ask questions about what it is like to work on the field in this type of situation. You do not want to miss it!
At the M3 Conference on February 23 & 24, Yancy will be speaking on the topic, “Privileged to Serve,” and we look forward to seeing you there! Click here to register and use promo code SPREADTHEWORDM318 to receive $5 off your registration.