One day while catching up with a friend about our kids, grandkids, and husbands’ hectic schedules, she casually mentioned in her soft sweet manner, “You really should come to India; it is one of my favorite trips!” I’m not much for small talk but really? Travel to India, 8,509 miles away from home? Was she serious? This friend is a truly special one. She happens to be Robin Hobar, my son’s mother-in-law and the wife of LEAP’s founder, Dr. Craig Hobar. Out of respectful consideration for our relationship, I went into a “deep spiritual” process to figure out if God was truly calling me to go to India. My first thought was, “I guess if I go, she won’t be trying to sneak in extra ‘Nana’ time with our precious grandchildren!” Ok, I’ll go.
Damoh, India – February 2012
Arriving at our destination, we stepped off the bus, and the entire LEAP team received a heartfelt welcome. After a short time of introductions, I was anxious to visit the infants and toddlers living in the orphanage where we would be staying for the next week. I went to the toddlers’ room first and experienced a joy beyond measure with big smiles, little arm hugs, and children crawling up onto my lap – what tender moments. After spending some time at the orphanage, my friend thought I was ready for the big time! I was going to the hospital where the LEAP medical team would be changing lives using their God-given gifts and talents. But wait, I have no medical background. No matter, I was going to the hospital as the “support team.”
With great anticipation, we arrived at the hospital, and there was an organized flurry of compassionate LEAP volunteers and anxious and tired patients. Both had travelled great distances and sacrificed much to arrive at the same destination. The LEAP volunteers were processing patients, which involved reviewing paperwork, doing mini-physicals, taking pictures for the surgeons to review the “before” and “after” results, scheduling surgeries, and giving pre and post-surgical instructions to each patient. The patients focused intently as they awaited final approval and scheduling for their surgeries. One desperate father tried to go through the process twice in hopes that his young child who had a fever would somehow be approved. How great a fathers love! (John 3:1)
I watched with an awestruck daze as this team of doctors, nurses, and other LEAP volunteers worked through stack after stack of papers and reviewed hundreds of hopeful patients and families with such love and efficiency. As I entered into the large tent set up outside the hospital to assist with post-op care, I was reminded that believers of Christ are His hands and feet for serving and loving others. (1 Corinthians 12)