Friday, June 28, 1996: Andijon, Uzbekistan: Today started out at a quick pace. The newspaper reporters and the television people were gathering at Ahunov Uktem Nabievich’s office. He is the chairman of the Andijon Regional United Committee for the Republic of Uzbekistan and is one of the main leaders in Andijon. He works in the same office building as Ted Elder, only up on the top floor.
We gave a briefing to the committee and the reporters regarding Project C.U.R.E.’s work in Central Asia. Then, we informed them about Ted’s activities in teaching English to the people of Andijon, aiding in health-care development, and supporting of small businesses, and reminded them how all our efforts tied in to helping and encouraging the wonderful people of Uzbekistan. At that point, the media folks were ready to go outside in the garden area to do some video shooting. The TV people interviewed me first near a fountain area. The interviewer was very generous with his comments about Project C.U.R.E. and the fact that we were bringing over half a million dollars’ worth of medical goods to Andijon. The newspaper reporters’ interviews were quite short, and they said they would have more questions after the presentation of the containers.
Our media interviews made us run late for getting to the presentation site. One official from the health department could not stay for the whole ceremony and left early. Ted Elder had arranged for the containers to be located in a very secure storage area, unloaded from the trailers, and set on the ground. Everything was perfect. When will I quit fretting about details that God has already successfully worked out?
The head medical man opened the ceremony with some remarks and then turned to me to make the presentation. During the presentation I called for Dr. Erkin to come up and stand with me. That was a signal to the medical people that he was not to be cut out of the loop. Dr. Erkin’s face just glowed. I tell people that Project C.U.R.E. is not political – but we sure are diplomatic.
During my part of the presentation, I took the liberty to give my personal testimony as the reason for Anna Marie’s and my being there to give the medical supplies. I told the audience that it was a special day for me because once again God had given me the opportunity to fulfill my vow to him to use my energies to bring honor and glory to him and help as many people around the world as possible by distributing donated medical supplies to help their hurting hearts and bodies. All through the testimony about God giving me a second chance with my life and about giving away our wealth so that we could start over again, the men in crowd were really into it, nodding their heads and agreeing.
After I spoke, the head man responded. Then Ted spoke, another man spoke, Don spoke, Dr. Erkin spoke, and so on, but before the ceremony came to a halt, something strange happened.
The woman reporter from the Uzbekistan national newspaper signaled that she had something she wanted to say to the crowd. “I have never before in my life met anyone who has given away millions of dollars to help other people. On behalf of all the women in Uzbekistan, I would bend down and kiss the ground this man walks on for his acts of kindness to other people. I hope the men of Uzbekistan who will now be making lots of money from business, will follow this man’s example.”
We were all kind of speechless as we realized that the Holy Spirit had been faithfully ministering while we talked. I guess that we will never know just where the ripples of obedience will travel before they lap up against the shores of eternity.