hero material

I can’t wait any longer to introduce you to Bethany Maxwell, a hero in my books.

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Here she is with Quinn at Bible Study Fellowship. It was my first chance to meet her in the flesh, though she has been developing her status as my hero for a while now.

Quinn and Bethany first met in last season’s BSF small group, where, for good reasons, personal agendas are kept out of the discussion. But something Quinn said caught Bethany’s attention, and after class she sought out Quinn to satisfy her curiosity.

I will add the fact that Bethany was about to add a fourth child to her family.

There wasn’t time for the whole story, so Quinn directed Bethany to the Babies of Juarez website. Three days later, Quinn heard from Bethany via e-mail that she wants to get involved.

These were not just words to Bethany. She started promoting the collection of diapers and formula on Facebook; she wrote letters to companies, asking for supply donations; she printed flyers to hand to people she meets; she did fund-raisers; she shopped for formula on Craig’s list. You get the idea. Gung ho!

All this I’m observing through Quinn’s astonished eyes and the pictures she shared with me.

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Here’s only one batch. First in the van…

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…and here unloaded in Quinn’s house.

Then the next load, which I’ll let Quinn describe:

“Bethany sent me a text this afternoon telling me she had a God story and asked if she could come over in an hour. Yes! After she got here she proceeded to pull out about 250 small cans of formula from her van. She was grinning ear to ear. She was in touch with a woman thru craigslist. Apparently this woman had “some” expired formula she was willing to give Bethany. They met at Chick-fil-a to do the transfer and Bethany’s mouth dropped. She told me the woman said, ‘So—this is going to a ministry, right?’ Bethany had already explained briefly where it was going. The woman said, ‘I’m a Muslim, but I want to give this anyway because Muslims get such a bad rap.’ 250 cans of high-end formula today. Given by a Muslim. God is now feeding babies in HIS name through a Muslim woman, who wishes her people group didn’t look so bad. I don’t know. Honestly, mom. Bethany and I just stood there.”

Muslim donation

And now I’m here to observe through my own astonished eyes what Bethany and so many others are doing.

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Here’s the packed room reserved in the Anderson home for BoJ supplies.

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the overflow

And then! Bethany was at it again…

Quinn and I were shopping yesterday at another Goodwill when she found me to say Bethany was in the parking lot, do I want to go help transfer supplies from her van?

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Of course I will help after I get some pictures!

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Back at the Andersons, Quinn announced we have more supplies and everyone happily joins the effort.

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Did I say everyone? I guess dogs are exempt.

Now think of the effort it will take to get all of these supplies loaded into two trailers as the Andersons and a team of 46(!) head down to Juarez to build two homes, hold a food outreach, staff a medical clinic, and experience the same joy we had last Thanksgiving.

I realize looking at numerous pictures of diapers and formula get old after a while. But we can feed our babies, we can hop in the car and go to a store to buy diapers and formula any time we want. Not so easy for the poor families in the colonias of Juarez. But through the efforts of Quinn and her family and Bethany and many, many others (here in Arizona and those still “on board” in Colorado) who’ve caught the joy of helping those who can’t help themselves—the mortality rate of babies in Juarez has dropped significantly. This is reported, not documented, by the folks on the other side of the border who carefully distribute supplies to the families who need them.

Click here if you want to understand why there is such a need for diapers and formula. Click here if you want to see pictures and reports on the 24 loads that preceded the one that’s coming up October 12.

Somehow I never get tired of looking at pictures of diapers and formula. And now you know why Bethany Maxwell is my hero. I hope some day she’ll get to go and see first hand what her efforts have accomplished.

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