"Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen."
1 Peter 4:10-11 (NIV)

Applying for passport...check! (with much perseverance)

On Friday, Jason and I applied for our passports...granted it took a while to get that all coordinated. It really was only a small inconvenience and I find it hilarious now, but we did get slightly frustrated.

Initially, my thought was "Hey, we can do this on Friday afternoon when I get off work at the Valley View post office. It's a small post office, so there shouldn't be many people and will be quick." The Valley View post office doesn't do passports, and the Gainesville post office does them by appointment only and not on Friday afternoons. So...our option was then to get photos done at CVS and then go to the Clerk's office at the courthouse. Wouldn't you know, the passport photo machine at CVS wasn't working and they send us to Walmart...on a Friday afternoon. (Busy. Annoying.) 

With photos in hand after our Walmart excursion, we did get to the Clerk's office and thankfully had all the correct paperwork. So our passports should be here fairly soon. 

Next will be plane tickets...but we'll all purchase tickets at the same time so hopefully it will run more smoothly than the passport challenge. 

More photos from 2012 trip:

Chris working on an above-knee prosthetic socket.

This is at a local hospital where Chris did castings of the patients for the prostheses.

Sharing at FUMC Gainesville

Today Chris and John came to speak at our church, First United Methodist of Gainesville, about Prosthetic Promises, their trip last September and the upcoming trip in April 2014 when Jason and I will be going also. They have a wonderful Powerpoint presentation with lots of pictures of Zambia, the people and the patients they saw. Hearing their presentation gave us a better idea of what to expect. 

Chris, John and Robin (John's wife) came up yesterday and had dinner at our house before today's presentation at church. It was so great to visit and catch up! Jason and I were able to discuss more particulars about the trip and hear more stories. One of the most relieving things to find out is I get to take a shower everyday when staying at New Day (I was a little worried about that). :) 

Most of the amputees in Zambia have above-knee amputations, and Chris has learned a new socket design that is self-adjustable by the patient. This was perfect for the people needing above-knee prostheses there since they have no one to make adjustments to the prosthesis if needed. I will have to spend a day or two with Chris in Temple learning this socket technique before April. 

More pictures from their September trip:

One of the children Chris made a prosthesis for.

Chris teaching this lady how to walk with her prosthesis. 

One of the amputee's homemade crutch.

The feet on the left are John's in his flip-flops because he gave his tennis shoes to this patient since he had none. The prosthetic feet need to have a shoe so they last longer and don't damage the foot. 

One of John's prosthetic eye patients. 

The Unforeseen

When dropping off supplies with Chris a few weeks ago, we talked more about what to expect in Zambia. (I have many more discussions to come with John and Chris on "what to expect") Apparently, spitting cobras are a wildlife danger to be on the lookout for. SPITTING COBRAS!?! I'm with my dad on the opinion of snakes...a good snake is a dead snake. Ah, just makes me cringe thinking about them. 

I realize I hadn't thought of the unexpected things we'll encounter. Spitting cobras are just one example. The culture, food, how people live there, interactions with people, etc. It's all going to be so different than America. Neither Jason or I have done much traveling. We haven't been out of the country. Just thinking about all these aspects now makes me realize what a totally mind-boggling experience this will be. 

I downloaded pictures from John to my computer from their trip last September, so I've been looking through those. Really studying the pictures is starting to give a glimpse of what we'll see but being there in person will be a whole different thing. I'm going to try to post a few pictures from their trip at the end of each post here to share. 

Chris helping this man learn to walk with his new prosthesis. 

John and one of the people he made a prosthetic eye for. 

Chris working on a prosthesis.

John took pictures of people in the surrounding areas.


Friday I was able to take some donated parts to Chris in Temple. There were some feet, socks, liners and various adapters that had been donated to use for missions. Most donations of used parts come from patients who get new prosthetic legs and donate their old ones for parts, or from families of deceased patients who contact us to see if parts can be salvaged to use for other patients. Used parts can be donated for mission work. We are gathering as many parts and supplies donations as we can, and then Chris will purchase remaining supplies we will need with monetary donations to Prosthetic Promises.

A big THANK YOU to my boss, Cindy Hooper, from Excell O&P in Denton and David Caldwell from Caldwell P&O in McKinney for donating these supplies for the mission!!