On Monday evening, Ken and I attended Medical Teams International’s One in a Million Dinner hosted by Joan & Bob Wallace and Chris & Jim Warjone. What an inspirational evening!
We were invited to join them for an El Gaucho dinner at the Mike and Kathy Holmgren Center in Redmond. When I set my GPS with the address and followed the directions, Ken was sure that we could not possibly be going to a place where a dinner would be held since we were surrounded by warehouse spaces. As it turned out, the GPS was right. The dinner was held in Medical Teams International’s warehouse space which also contains an incredible visual installation that includes thought-provoking dioramas and multisensory exhibits of some of the most desperate human suffering in the world due to war, poverty, disease and natural disasters. Walking through the exhibits provided an experience that transported us to places where Medical Teams International helps the lame walk, heals diseases and transforms lives.
Neither Ken nor I knew alot about Medical Teams International, but were fascinated to learn more. Their mission states that they demonstrate the love of Christ to people affected by disaster, conflict and poverty around the world. We had a chance to hear testimonials from several of the passionate volunteers including Jeff & Janey Pinneo, Joan Wallace and Chris Warjone.
The MTI volunteers are known for their passion, compassion and adaptability. One of the factoids I heard that stands out in my mind is that MTI has 30 years of experience in helping people in 16 different countries and has found that by investing in helping women and children in developing countries that the greatest return on the human resources can be generated. A disturbing and startling statistic is 22,000 children die everyday of preventable diseases, while a reassuring statistic is that 97% of all the funding they raise goes to programs and services.
|Saying on warehouse wall at Holmgren Center|
Joan Wallace told an especially heart-wrenching story about when she was volunteering at a distant MTI site and gave an almost empty sip-top water bottle to a nursing mother in a war-torn third world country, who treated that bottle as the most important gift she had ever received. She got down on her knees in front of Joan to thank her for what she considered a gift of great value. Joan said that it really was that important because it would allow that mother to feed her baby water which could save her baby’s life.
We also enjoyed seeing and talking with Barbara Morgan and her friend Karin Powers, Danielle & Brad Tilden, Marilyn & Bill Smith, and MTI Executive Director, Jim Mhoon.
Wine was served courtesy of Martin Barrett and Monte Regier of Sozo Planet. The goal of Sozo is to produce and deliver artisan crafted wine for purchase and at the same time feed a substantial number of people who live in poverty. Every Sozo product consumed provides anywhere from 1-25 meals for orphans, widows and homeless who lack basic needs. They have put together a MTI Wine Club subscription that allows MTI supporters to underwrite the costs of life saving vaccinations for a child as they purchase and enjoy the wine.
It is always so inspiring and humbling to see so many people who are working so hard to make a difference in our world and I am proud to be associated with each of them. They are succeeding, one life at a time.