Written by Larry Wood
“So on October 2 the wall was finished—just fifty-two days after we had begun. 16 When our enemies and the surrounding nations heard about it, they were frightened and humiliated. They realized this work had been done with the help of our God.” Nehemiah 6:15-16, New Living Translation (Hebrew on the twenty-fifth day of the month Elul, of the ancient Hebrew lunar calendar. This day was October 2, 445 B.C.)
In July 2013, my wife and I came to La Paz because my close friend Kevin Broyles had a dream and left his roots in NC to become a medical missionary. He shared his dream with me while in NC and many of our conversations ended with “come and see.” Through all of these talks he kept emphasizing his dream: to create a sustainable medical clinic in La Paz that would serve some of the world’s most vulnerable people and children. Last year, my wife and I were able to visit La Paz and our eyes were opened to just how deeply rooted poverty is here and how desperately this dream needed to become a reality. Our hearts were moved and we were determined to support Kevin and HOPE worldwide Bolivia in any way we could.
I knew there was an ongoing search for a place to build out this dream. As many of you read on this blog earlier this year in April, the HOPE worldwide Bolivia Team and many supporters gathered in front of what was to become the Centro Medico Internacional for a ground breaking ceremony. The shovel in the ground marked the beginning of taking an older home and repurposing it into a modern, state of the art medical clinic in La Paz. Because of the prayers and financial support of many, plans were laid and work began that continues even now to bring the HOPE team’s vision alive. Dust was churned. Walls torn down. Concrete poured. Bricks laid. The work began and continues to this day. Walking through the building, inhaling the dust of finishing, we imagined where patients would sit and where treatment would happen. Where a buzz of activity in a busy clinic will become the norm. The HOPE team—together–in what will become their workplace and great center of influence in this city.
The Reality—44 days and counting.
Today, I am back in La Paz where I am to helping see this “wall of HOPE” become a reality. In just 44 days, October 3, 2015, the doors will open to the Centro Medico Internacional. Months back when Kevin was in NC and we sat and talked over coffee, he asked me to come help him bring the HOPE dream into reality. It was perfect timing, because I needed something in my life that would help me connect again with a God who accomplishes great feats and changes lives. This was an “open door” I could not pass up. And here I am, working side by side with my close friend and gaining deep, abiding, lifelong friends who are working tirelessly to see this “wall” built. I am getting so much more than I could ever give.
Sitting down to write this, reading again the story of Nehemiah building the wall, it was remarkable to discover that the day Nehemiah completed his wall is thought to be October 2, 445B.C. Through God’s provision, he completed the task in an unprecedented amount of time. I can only imagine what it must have felt like on that day to have been a part of something that “disheartened” his enemies and all the nations nearby. Something that would have been such an encouragement and inspiration to the remnant of God’s people. And it is with great anticipation and eager expectation that I look forward to seeing all of my old and new friends celebrate what God will have done through their dreams, visions and efforts. On that day, October 3, 2015, I will step back and in a moment’s reflection, I will know that through Kevin, Noelle, and the entire HOPE team, my life will be different for I will have participated in something only God could have accomplished.
Pictures below show some of the process and construction ‘before’ (left) and ‘during’ (right).