The following are pages from the journal of Patti Vance.
These are passages written in her personal journal from members of the mission trip she and her daughter, Olivia, took to Africa, and from those they touched.
Missionary James George
20 years in the field
Your thoughts of this week of the first medical team to your region . . .
This is an answer to a long 20 year prayer. Most people do not understand that there really are places where there “is no doctor”, but they do exist. This is the case in the western regions of the Ivory Coast in the Yacouba, GuÃ¨re and WobÃ¨ region. People in these remote villages die from lack of a simple diagnosis or because of a lack of five dollars to purchase medicine that would cure their malaria. It is a very hard place and most medical personnel would never attempt such a trek into the “bush”. I am so humbled by what has happened on this six day excursion. Eating crackers out of a cardboard box, rough rides on broken and muddy jungle roads . . . not to mention the long trip from Abidjan which takes a day on rough paved roads â is not for weak people. They must have a deep love for people and for the Lord. I see their heart as they do their best to help every hurting person, old through young. The impact for Christ in this place may not show today and they may wonder just how much good they have done, but rest assured; the Lord will use this in a magnificent way. We know many will come to know Him in the days ahead as our workers council and only eternity will reveal the larger impact. Africa will never forget you. Every time they see me, they will be looking behind to see if you are there. You will remain in their history passed from chief to chief . . . and you will not be forgotten. I could never have imagined a med team that would be such a perfect fit for this place. Each one of you is absolutely amazing in your area of expertise. With tear welled eyes I say . . . Thank you from the depths of my heart.
Missionaryâ LaNelle George
Translation of Jean Marc’s page:
I think that God has put in you the same spirit of love that He has for the world because you came to Africa and to the Ivory Coast and to the poorest villages in the country to share this love with us! And as the Bible says, “it is more blessed to give than to receive”. May He return to you 100 times the things you have done for my Ivorian family and for myself. May His grace accompany you all along your life. I love you all very much and I hope you will come again another day. I greet all the family of America.
August 9, 2014
This has been an incredible trip! Thank you, medical team, for your love for people and your deep love for the Lord. Thank you for being willing to go into some very difficult situations and doing it with a smile and great attitude. You will never be forgotten. You have saved lives and healed hurting bodies, but the greatest impact you have made will be spiritual healing for those who will be drawn to the Savior because of y our sacrificial love. “And of some, have compassion, making s difference,” describes y our ministry to these pore people. Thank you for making a difference in Ivory Coast! We are looking forward to more years of ministry together, Lord willing. We love you dearly, all our sisters in Christ! You are a blessing!!
August 10, 2014
“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” What a journey! What a wonderful powerful saving Lord we serve!
Lives were literally saved this week, and more importantly eternity will be changed for many.
How can we ever forget the joyful faces of the kids, their laughter, their hugs? And yet there are also those unforgettable faces for whom we had no ready medi8cal answer. But we had Jesus, and He surely will be our rear guard to continue to make a difference.
I have begun to understand the term “deepest darkest Africa.” It’s quite a lot like a heart that hasn’t been enlightened by the Light of the Life Himself.
We carried our candles into the darkness and the darkness is fleeing. Jesus is Lord, to the GuÃ¨re, the Wobie and the Yacouba, and He has made Himself more real to me as well.
I love you Patti, Thanks to you and Bubba for being vehicles for the Lord to use for such life changing journeys.
August 12, 2014
Isaiah 40: 31
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall ru and not be weary; they shall walk, and not faint.”
What a trip. Lives were saved. The conditions we faced were what you would expect in such a remote 3rd world country. I remain in awe of the people’s strength of Dr. Quade and my mom’s knowledge and their ability to “make do” with what we had, but mostly. . .I remain in awe of God’s provision. Becoming a nurse was not some life3long dream of mine. In fact, I ever knew what I wanted to be when I “grew up”. This became increasingly frustrating while in college, I think I changed my major 6 or 7 times. I honestly never felt “called” to any specific field. The verse from above (Isaiah 40:31) kept coming up over the years. I never could figure out why. If you look in the dictionary, the word “wait” means “to remain inactive.”Seriously! I had a hard time believing that I would find my life purpose by sitting around inactive waiting on God to “call: me somewhere.
Then one day a light bulb went off . . . the verse says “wait upon” in this context, the verb “wait” would be defined as “to attend as a servant.” I realize that instead of waiting around for a clear vision/purpose/calling â I should instead be finding the best place where I could serve. So for me, nursing was a practical choice âthey were on high demand, the types of jobs are endless and I would be helping others and could be a useful tool to do mission work in the future if the opportunity came up. So when the idea of this trip was discussed, I knew I needed to go.
One of my favorite quotes by Aristotle says “where your talents and the needs of the world cross, there lies your purpose.” An amazing feeling to have finely foud mine.
Love you, mom