Often we give things to unknown people, perhaps through a donation, without any idea if it was helpful, useful, appreciated or in any way beneficial. We see the ads on TV to support a child’s education in some far-off country and wonder if our dollars actually make a difference. We send Christmas shoeboxes or backpacks for schools in hopes of blessing some unknown person’s life in a way that will go beyond a few happy moments and really change their life. This is a testimony and affirmation to the benefits of giving and the recognition of a very generous donor who knows God sees the heart of the giver and the impact of their gift.
In 2016, this very generous supporter of the medical education at HAU donated about 200 medical backpacks, equipped with the necessary items to begin practicing medicine. Most of the graduates since that time have already received a medical backpack and use it in their daily practice. They have been the envy of all medical graduates in Burundi because not only is medical equipment hard to come by here (as are all things imported) but the cost makes them prohibitive to most, especially new medical graduates.
In the last few months this same generous donor sent another 100 backpacks. What generosity!
The backpacks, along with all the tools to go inside them, arrived in a container for Kibuye in the late fall. One Saturday morning, Randy invited several of the graduating medical students over to assist in filling each backpack with the thirteen basic medical tools. The students were happy to help—and see the contents, but would have to wait to receive their backpack until graduation in February.
At the medical graduate’s party, Randy, along with two of the Kibuye doctors, Carlan and Ted, delighted in congratulating each graduate by name and giving them their long-awaited medical backpack. It was so much fun to see their smiling faces as each one went up to shake hands and walk back to their seat with the equivalent of their first “little black bag”. Many opened them right away to check out the contents, even though they already knew what was inside them. They left that evening sporting their backpacks and huge, appreciative smiles.
Happily, this is a gift that will keep on giving. For each doctor who has received this basic medical backpack goes on to use these tools to administer health care to a medically impoverished population that has for too long had too few doctors. Just as we’ve been a part of changing that scenario so have many others who’ve given in a variety of tangible and intangible ways. To all of you we say: Thank you! We hope you will be affirmed in the power of giving and be reminded just how far reaching its effects can be.