For the past twelve years of operation of The Free Medical Clinic of the Ozarks (FMCO) I have been continually thankful for God’s provision and the many ways He has demonstrated He is always on time with just the right resource!
In the beginning when the founders and board members of the clinic were considering the extent of the monthly expenditures we were praying for God’s direction in supplying our needs. Because all who served the clinic were volunteers, including the doctors and nurses our overhead costs were nowhere near those of a private clinic. Nevertheless there were expenses for monthly rent, utilities, insurance, equipment needs and office supplies in addition to the cost of the medications which were to be at no cost to the patients. Initially we had no idea whether we might be involved in fund-raising efforts which all of the non-profit organizations in Branson were doing. Several local churches pledged monthly support, and a few individuals who understood the magnitude of the ministry gave sacrificially.
In previous posts I have testified to God’s on-time provisions. These have included Skaggs Community Hospital providing us with our present beautiful clinic in 2012 at no cost, and the ongoing use of the Patient Assistance Program (PAP) which provides medicines at no cost for most of our patients. The company which provides our weekly maintenance is Brokate Janitorial from Springfield, Missouri, and the owner Jeremy Brokate came to me in mid-2013 with the offer they would love to provide their services at no cost! There have been other instances in which God sent just the right person at just the right time to supply just what we needed.
One regular individual financial contributor from Sacramento, California has been sending a generous monthly check in honor of her father who died in 2012. He had been an integral part of the start-up of the clinic, and she has been contributing since 2013 without missing a month in her support of FMCO.
About four years ago a local optometrist, Dr. Kevin Umbright was in my office discussing the possibility of his volunteering his time and skills to the ministry of FMCO. We talked about how we might secure the much-needed but costly equipment for eye exams. There was discussion also about provision of eyeglasses for those needing them, and where we might obtain good but low-cost eyewear. He said the cost for used eye exam equipment might be in the range of five to ten thousand dollars. My words to him were I was not anxious about such a high cost, because we have learned though experience God has always provided for our needs, and His provision arrived about the time we knew of the need. He shook his head in agreement, and we both prayed right then God would make it clear how we should proceed.
As we were talking and praying the monthly envelope from our Sacramento donor containing what I assumed to be her regular monthly contribution was lying in my desk drawer unopened. It had arrived the day before, and I intended to deposit it later in the day after our visit. When Dr. Umbright left I removed the envelope from my desk, and upon opening it noticed there was also an accompanying letter. There had never been a letter with any of her previous checks. I thought she might be notifying us she was no longer able to continue the support, so I took out the letter to read before looking at the check.
The typed letter had some introductory salutations which were personal, and then she stated she had recently sold some family property in Arkansas and wanted to donate part of the proceeds of the sale in honor of her father. There was this statement in her letter, “I think Mom and Dad would be pleased.” The check was for $10,000 which is the largest single contribution ever given to FMCO!
I bowed my head in gratitude and through tears thanked our Heavenly Father who had once again demonstrated His on-time provision for the ministry He had begun nine years previously. I immediately called Dr. Umbright who was still driving home to report our prayer for the equipment had been answered, and the provision had been sent even before we ever prayed.