January 27, 2012 by Jeremy · Comments Off
I have a hard time accepting things as they are. I’m more of a “how they should be” kind of guy. I’d rather vacation in Iraq, Yemen or Libya than Paris, London or Tokyo. I see discrepancies and obsess over them. My team says I’m “persnickety”—I prefer to think of myself as “particular” or “exacting.” To-may-to, to-mah-to.
In any case, I operate daily according to a vision of the future that is not yet reality.
I prefer the word “vision” to the word “dream” because dreams are so often associated with “dreaming”, “dreamy” and “dreamers.” “Dream” has connotations of other-worldliness. Apart from Martin Luther King’s wonderful speech, most “I have a dream” talk that I’ve encountered reeks of non-action, an assumption that dreaming alone is enough to spark the desired change.
Think of the spate of status updates and tweets on New Year’s Eve in which people dreamed (and invoked Dreaming’s close cousins, “Hope” and “Wish”) for world peace, an eradication of poverty, and global sing-alongs. At the risk of sounding cynical, much of our dreaming is just socially conscious enough to sound engaged and just vague enough to require zero effort of our own.
Therefore, I prefer to have vision over dreams. In the way I use the word, vision requires much of me. I work on vision. I plan for vision. I submit my vision to the critique of others so that it will be refined and strengthened. I seek partnerships to bring the vision into reality. And I pray while waiting for the correct timing to pursue vision.
This post marks the launch of a series on vision – how to define it, nurture it, pursue it and succeed in it. Ultimately I want to encourage others out there who have a hard time accepting things as they are. I want to ignite more passion in the hearts of those of you who insist on returning things to how they should be.
In the process, you will get a clearer picture of what it has required for us to get to this point as an organization. I will be honest about our failures and I will paint a picture of a future Iraq—and a future world—that I hope you will find compelling and inspiring.
We are not just out here in Iraq cranking out heart surgeries. There is a much more sweeping vision, and I feel I’ve failed to bring that to the fore regularly enough.
As you read, if there is anything you feel you’d like to ask or any way in which I might spur you on in your vision, don’t hesitate to send me an email by clicking this link.
January 22, 2012 by Cody · Comments Off
As I write this, I’m driving away from Remedy Mission VIII. Just hours ago, we were in the hospital waiting for our 16th child to come out of the operating room.
This mission’s last child was a little baby boy named Younis.
Younis came 400 miles to get to Remedy, but the drive took it’s toll and Younis—just 2 months old—came down with a fever. Every day we put him on the schedule for surgery, but every day we had to cancel because his fever wouldn’t break. Some days it would break in the middle of the night, but by the time we could rush to the hospital to operate the fever had returned. This continued until the very last day of the mission. This time his fever broke for good, giving us just enough time to give Younis the lifesaving surgery for which he had traveled so far.
These are the stories of Remedy.
I also had the privilege of telling Ali’s story this mission, but it wasn’t just Ali who you helped us save this mission. You saved Amjed, Zainab, Alawi, Zain, and so many more.
This past week I’ve been reflecting more on the lives of these children and the life and vision of Martin Luther King Jr. In between surgical days I re-listened to some of his sermons, trying to once again stir my heart for the things that stirred his.
I was humbled by the devotion and the vision that he carried throughout his life, right up until his assassination. He maintained an astounding vision of God and his fellow man, one that led to his unparalleled passion for justice and peace.
King reminded me once again that there comes a point when silence is betrayal.
And so he shouted out for justice, equality and love. He spoke up for the broken, the poor, the ones affected by unjust war and the ones who had no voice of their own.
And people listened. We’re still listening.
This week I’m profoundly grateful for the life of Martin Luther King Jr. And I’m also profoundly grateful for you.
You see, these Remedy Missions can’t happen without you. In our writings we use the word “I” and “we” a lot but truth-be-told, I can’t think of one thing “I’ or “we” have done apart from you.
Because of that, together we’re breaking the silence. You’re bringing Remedy Missions to cities all over Iraq and because of that you’re saying to the people of Iraq “You are not alone. We are in this together.”
And they’re listening.
Thank you for not reducing the vision and legacy of Martin Luther King Jr. to a yearly quote, but for committing to live it out by saving the lives of children like Ali and Younis. Thank you for Remedy Mission VIII!
We’re just two weeks away from our next Remedy Mission….stick with us!