Junk For Jesus

An ABWE missionary nurse ministers through gathering medical supplies.

From Message magazine issue "Building a Legacy"

Two weeks before her furlough, ABWE missionary nurse Jodi Boyd found herself working overtime sorting through the $15,000 container of medical supplies sent to ABWE’s Hospital of Hope in northern Togo, West Africa.

“At least a quarter of the contents was junk that ended up being burned,” she said.

During her two-and-a-half years serving in the operating rooms at both of ABWE’s hospitals in Togo, Jodi saw the frustrating disconnect between the supplies the facilities needed and the items being sent by donors in the U.S., which often were unusable, and created more work for missionaries as they had to sort them and figure out how to dispose of them.

When she returned home on furlough, Jodi realized God was calling her to a new line of ministry.

“In this age of [re-purposing], we all want to find a new home for our cast-offs that does not involve a land-fill. But there is a limit to what we should be sending to charities,” Jodi wrote. “I end up getting a lot of ‘junk’ donated. My latest chart topper on the gross scale being a half-used tube of hemorrhoid cream. Eek.”

Since starting her medical procurement ministry in 2016, Jodi has worked with U.S.-based hospitals and donations centers to fill and ship containers of medical supplies to ABWE’s medical facilities in West Africa and South Asia.

Each container can contain up to 200 boxes filled with dressings, IV tubing, syringes and other useful items. Boxes are inventoried by volunteers at a warehouse, saving missionary hospital staff invaluable time and energy. Jodi has found thousands of dollars worth of usable goods to ship to all three hospitals and often pays next-to-nothing for them.

What began as a couple boxes and 1,200 square feet, taped off in the unfinished auditorium in Jodi’s church, has rapidly grown into over 2,000 square feet of medical supplies.

“For two-and-a-half years I’ve had this wonderful free space to grow and figure out how this ministry works,” Jodi said. She now looks forward to seeing how God will continue to provide as the ministry expands and she moves her warehouse to a new, larger space.

Support the Work

As her ministry expands, Jodi is seeking financial partners to donate to the monthly rent and utilities expenses of the new warehouse. She also welcomes volunteers to help procure donations and work in the warehouse.