Take One Single Step of Obedience at a Time, Day-by-Day, to Show His Love
I grew up reading the stories of Gladys Aylward and Albert Schweitzer, individuals who dedicated their lives to the service of the vulnerable in other lands. Their stories ignited a passion in my young heart to have a similar impact.
As I studied mechanical engineering at Arizona State University, I was on the lookout for how I could use what I felt so privileged to be receiving, an education in a field I had chosen, to love others. In my junior year the Engineering Projects in Community Service (EPICS) program launched. It was the perfect blend of engineering and service and I could not wait to sign up.
The EPICS program was the birthing place of what would later become G3Box. The goal of G3Box was to convert steel shipping containers into medical clinics for the purpose of reducing maternal mortality in rural areas of developing countries. G3 stood for “generating global good,” and the “Box” part is, hopefully, self-explanatory.
Over the next few years, I dedicated most of my time that was not spent in class or studying to G3Box. My team and I had visions of making it into a full-on sustainable business that would revolutionize maternal medicine in rural parts of Africa. We thought it was perfect; use something that most did not see as valuable any more (a steel shipping container left to rust) and turn it in to something life-giving (a medical clinic). It was a great story, and it brought in funding, awards, news articles, a donated shipping container, the support of architecture and constructions firms, and many friends and student volunteers. The support fueled our confidence and we committed to providing a clinic to a community in western Kenya.
After a few overseas trips to both northern and sub-Saharan Africa, I began to realize, along with the team, that what would be required to implement G3Box in a sustainable way was beyond what we originally thought. Shipping containers are bulky pieces of steel that are perfect for shipping standardization, but become challenging when navigating the usually non-existent roads in rural parts of Africa. We had to face the fact that our pre-fabricated clinic might not be the best solution. As a result, we decided to move on from G3Box, but only after fulfilling our promise to place a clinic in Kenya.
Through the right partners and generous donors, God allowed us to complete a clinic and place it at the Sagam Community Hospital, where it facilitates patient treatment and education of medical staff.
In the years since G3Box, God has shown me that what I used to think was more noble – going to a foreign land to minister to others – is only one part of His plan for bringing the Gospel to the nations. He has brought the nations close to us through the refugees and immigrants coming to our land. He has shown me to focus my eyes on what is directly around me, rather than casting them only to what is far. And, most profoundly, He has shown me that only He is the physical and spiritual Savior of the most vulnerable, and He cares about them much more than I do or even can. I take comfort in that during the nights when I feel the weight of the world’s brokenness and He reminds me that He is in control and that I can sleep. I am to take one single step of obedience at a time, day-by-day, to show His love.
Here's a bit more from Susanna about her work: As a curious person that enjoys understanding how things work, I design, build, and test new or existing products to improve the overall quality of life of human beings. Currently, as a mechanical engineer, I research and develop balloon catheters used to widen narrowed or obstructed arteries or veins (angioplasty) due to white blood cell buildup.