My mother-in-law, Chris Reiff, has one of those really interesting jobs.
She’s a prosthetist. She creates prosthetic arms and legs for those who are missing limbs.
It’s physically demanding work. It involves lots of power tools and lots of plaster. It also requires care and precision — exact measurements to build a complicated, functional device.
It’s also an emotional job. She works daily with people who’ve experienced traumatic loss.
Her work brings hope to people. And she’s taking that hope around the world.
In a few weeks she’s heading off on her fourth Christian mission trip (her second to Africa) to bring the gift of walking to people who have no access to someone like her. She won’t be alone. She’ll be accompanied by another prosthetist and an ocularist who builds eyes for people.
I am proud of my mother-in-law.
In my 15 years of knowing her, I’ve watched as she’s been called by God to go and help, and I’ve watched as she’s responded with leaps of faith. First, it was a trip to Belize. Then she went to Mexico. Then Africa.
During all of her trips, she witnessed the mighty hand of God.
For example, she was able to do in Africa things that would be physically impossible to do here. Eight legs in eight days! And as her limited resources of plaster and components dwindled to almost nothing, all of a sudden, there was just enough to do one more. Before she left, one more man could walk. Nine legs in eight days!
When she returned from Africa, she felt another call. And she took another leap of faith.
She and John, the ocularist, launched a nonprofit called Prosthetic Promises. The goal was to raise enough money to fund future trips.
Frankly, I didn’t know what to think about all of it. I was a little skeptical. Was this real? Would it happen? Maybe she should go on medical missions trips but stay out of the whole nonprofit management thing.
But she was called.
So my mother-in-law hit the road. She and John went from church to church throughout Central Texas with only a PowerPoint and prayer. She spoke to church groups, Sunday School classes and civic organizations. She was in the newspaper. She was on the radio.
I sat back and watched. And what I saw amazed me.
Donations came in — $25, $100, $10,000. Within the year, Prosthetic Promises had enough to send three practitioners to Africa and ship a huge crate of equipment (the most expensive part of the whole project).
How cool was that!
I’ve been befuddled, dumbfounded, and another other crazy word you can use to say surprised, through this whole experience.
Watching God work through her has deepened my faith. God placed a vision on her heart. She stepped out in faith and obedience. And God came through, again — just like He always does.
Take a moment to learn more about Prosthetic Promises.
Our 10-year-old son, Michael, has also watched his grandma. And as a result, he has stepped out in faith to raise the money to build a classroom in Uganda. Learn more about his project.