Are you ready for your home going call?
Don (Rickards) had an order for medical equipment for a clinic in Haiti. He had made many, many calls to places that sold this kind of equipment, but there was nothing the mission could afford. (Next time you get a doctor bill and think it is expensive, you need to look at the prices for medical equipment!) A couple of examination tables could cost as much as a house. Finding medical equipment the mission could afford seemed impossible, except our God deals with the impossible!
At this point, Don was very ill and making many emergency trips to the hospital every week. On each trip to the hospital, Don would ask every doctor if they knew where he could get inexpensive medical equipment. When they would say no, he would go home and make more calls.
This went on for many months. On the last visit that Don made to the hospital, he was very ill. Even though he was sick and in much pain, he had an order for medical equipment he was determined to fill for Haiti. As another doctor was examining him, Don was told he probably only had three months to live. Since this was yet another doctor, Don had to ask the question, “Do you know where I can purchase inexpensive medical equipment?” I am not sure, at that point, if Don fully comprehended what the doctor had told him in reply.
The doctor looked at Don and said, “Let’s get you in a wheelchair. I want to show you something!” The doctor took us to the basement. He opened two doors and said, “Is this enough equipment for you?” There were two complete rooms of all types of medical equipment! It was piled high; there was enough equipment for two clinics. The hospital had just purchased all new equipment: lights, beds, operating tools, examination tables—hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment! The doctor proceeded to tell Don that he could have everything in the room, but it all had to be gone by noon the next day.
Don was no longer interested in what was happening to him—he had an order to fill! Quickly, I took Don to his room to make a phone call to his OMS buddy Phil Chandler. He told Phil he needed a truck and a couple of men to get to the hospital as soon as possible to get the medical equipment. He didn’t tell Phil that he had possibly only three months left to live. I don’t think that fact had sunk in yet as Don was focused on filling the order for Haiti.
God had given Don his last miracle! Don had filled the Lord’s last request that would help many Haitians! Three months later, to the day, Jesus welcomed Don home! There are other miracles to write, but I wrote this on the date of his home going.
A couple of years later, God took Phil Chandler home too. Makes me wonder what mission God has them doing together in heaven!
What is in your hand? You don’t have to have all wisdom and talent for God to use you—just what he has given you and a willing heart to be used! Little is much when God is in it! Thank you for your faithfulness and allowing God to use you!
By Carol Rickards, Retired OMS Missionary
Editorial note: Don and Carol Rickards served at the OMS World HQ for nearly 43 years. Don served as the purchasing/shipping coordinator, responsible for crating, receiving, shipping, and travel