Importing vehicles into foreign countries presents a number of customs, tax, fee and other import issues that are often cost and resource prohibitive for missionaries and other non-profit ministries.
In the spring of 2014, we began seeking the Lord for His answer to these challenges. After much prayer and fasting, the senior staff met to discuss options. During that meeting, a statement was made: “It would be so much easier if we could separate the clinic from the vehicle and just ship the clinic.” This was a defining moment for us as God began to reveal the vision for a "Portable Clinic in a Box”. The solution: "Build and ship only the clinic (the "box"). This solution reduces the large fees, restrictions, red tape and other challenges associated with importing a vehicle. To say the least, much prayer and research followed.
We are excited to announce we are currently building the prototype for this new portable medical clinic concept that will enable missionaries, ministries and non-profits to effectively and efficiently meet the health needs and challenges in their mission field. There is no longer a need to import an entire vehicle - which can be expensive and arduous; only the clinic is shipped. The truck is acquired in-country and the two are easily combined together with a special coupling ("demountable") system. This new clinic concept will give ministries better adaptability in the field to a wide variety of outreach opportunities. It is portable, durable, easy to use, fully operational, completely self-contained and much more affordable than a traditional ministry vehicle.
These new pod-like clinics have a special demountable lift-system that allows it to easily detach from the truck. The clinic becomes a fully operational, freestanding structure not dependent on the truck for anything other than transport. One truck (new or used) can easily move several clinics around to different outreach sites where they can remain for however long necessary.
Inside, there is ample space for a wide range of medical and dental services, yet it is compact enough to easily navigate a variety of challenging terrains and tight spaces. It is completely outfitted with its own generator for power, HVAC system and water purification.
There are also many options; like auxiliary power, external audio, exterior custom graphics, awnings with “add-a-rooms” and more.
This concept can also be adapted for a host of other outreach possibilities.
In foreign countries, the poor often live in remote villages, rural communities and overcrowded neighborhoods with very little water, insufficient food and few, if any, health services. How do you reach these “remote” people? By going mobile! The Church has a great opportunity to share the Gospel by “going” to them and providing for their most basic and urgent needs.
We have already met with mission groups from Nigeria, Kenya, Peru, Guatemala, and the Philippines who have all said that they have been praying and searching for a mobile solution to their particular outreach challenges. One said, “This new clinic concept of yours addresses every one of our concerns. This is what we have been looking for!”
To say the least, we were (and still are) excited as the Lord unfolded His plan for this new clinic concept, but how were we going to actually do it? We looked at our limited operating budget, and by faith we carved out a small portion to get the ball rolling. It truly was not enough, so we began to pray, believe God and trust Him to provide.
First, we shared our idea with a current supplier, MidMark Corporation in Versailles, Ohio. We were looking to outfit the clinic with the proper medical equipment. They became so excited about the new concept that they generously offered to donate over $20,000 worth of new medical equipment for the clinic. Wow! Praise God!
Next, through circumstances that only the Lord could orchestrate, we came in contact with The Scharpen Foundation in Wildomar, California, and shared with them what God had revealed about this new concept. Four months later we received a call from Scott and Carolyn Scharpen informing us that they wanted to partner with us to see this new concept become a reality. The Scharpen Foundation generously donated $55,000 toward the completion of the prototype. Wow! Praise God! Their partnership of funds, strategic thinking and planning is indispensable to this project.
God moved upon the hearts of both of these partners; we did not even have to ask for their assistance. God revealed His vison to them and they acted. They are an important part of making this project a success. We are amazed by God’s faithful provision.Next, we needed a base vehicle to transport our clinic, so we prayed. After a long, exhaustive, cross-country search that ended in complete frustration, we prayed again. A few hours later we found a truck with every option we wanted, at the price we wanted, in better condition then we hoped for, and it was only 12 miles from our shop. Wow! Praise God! Our friends at Certified Auto in Lorain, Ohio, donated the repairs to fix some minor issues, and the truck is ready to go!God is bringing together a network of donors, manufacturers and suppliers - each playing a vital role in helping to launch this new clinic concept. We know we cannot do this alone - nor would we try or want to!
Will you prayerfully consider joining us in this significant effort?
- Pray - There is no success without God’s leading and provision. We need Christ’s wisdom and favor to move forward.
- Give - While the prototype costs are covered, a host of other needs exist going forward. We need additional partners and donations that will help us produce more portable clinics and deploy them to the mission field to reach people.
- Spread the Word - Tell your friends to pray and encourage them to give. Share this with missionaries and ministries who may benefit from our new clinic concept.