“Careers are tricky,” ex-actress Sarah Gellar recently said. “If you have a linear focus, you’ll never see what else is out there.” (She now owns a food company.)
We AOB-Bangladesh workers have discovered the same truth. Linear focus is limited focus. Many of us prepared, trained, and came to accomplish a specific project within a particular program. Then God opened our eyes to see a far bigger picture. We step into new territory when God invites us to come:
During Bangladesh’s War for Independence, recently widowed women and their children came to MCH for refuge and healing... God’s plans were better. One of MCH’s nurses saw their need for employment, and she established Heart House Handicrafts. That project perfectly fits into our government-approved program of Income Generation. Widows and physically challenged craftsmen and tailors receive skills-training and joyful employment.
When one of Memorial Christian Hospital’s nurses was sick in bed, she requested Bangla-language books so she could read them and practice her Bangla skills. Few Christian books were found. That disappointment guided her to establish AOB’s Literature Division, which still produces and markets a wide range of quality books for Bengali readers.
By the way, the Bangladeshi manager of Literature Division zealously read and marketed books, yet he wanted more training. He gained his doctorate in theology, and has established a Bible college, seminary, and children’s school.
As another branch of AOB’s Media Production program, MCH’s orthopedic doctor and his artistic wife established MCH’s Health-and-Hope audio-visual department. Now captivating informational videos are showing on the hospital wards and beyond.
One of our Bangladeshi audio-visual men showed Health-and-Hope videos in poor communities, but when people questioned him about the health teaching, he needed more answers. He gladly received training as a community-health-worker.
Another nurse read the high-literary-Bangla Scriptures to a Christian women’s group, but few of them understood it. She realized the Scriptures should be in the common language. Receiving her doctorate, not in medicine but in linguistics, she gathered a team of translators and working with Bangladesh Bible Society produced the Common Language Bangla Bible.
As MCH’s laboratory supervisor directed seminars and camps, he saw the need for a permanent, government approved child-and-community-development program. He established just that.
MCH’s nurse-anesthetist saw that poor, illiterate communities lacked health teaching and health care. She established AOB’s Community-Health-Workers training and program. She also noticed malnourished patients coming to MCH, so she received agriculture training and established our agriculture program.
Still more exciting stories could be told. As one woman once says, “Our lives should be interruptible, when God wants to change the direction.” We keep our eyes open. Step by step He leads us. We’re privileged to join our Provider God in meeting needs, and He meets our needs in the process.