SewHope received it's name from the significance of "sewing hope" but more importantly, was named for Shannon E. Wilson (SEW). Shannon was a young physician who had an abounding compassion and love for the poor of Guatemala and who participated in several medical mission trips with us to Guatemala. Her goal was to become a full-time medical missionary following the completion of her training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Texas. Before her dream could become fulfilled, Shannon died at the young age of 26. However, her legacy lives on in the work of SewHope.
She heard the voice of the Lord saying "Whom shall I send? And who will go for us? And I said "Here am I. Send me." Isaiah 6:8
Shannon was a prolific writer and her writings continue to encourage us as we work with the people of Guatemala. She once wrote:
"Guatemala was where I found my purpose. It was overwhelming. So many kids. So little equipment. Knowledge, even less. Spanish - none. All I had was my arms, my smile, my lollypops. Young mothers and swollen bellies. Abused and bruised bodies. My whispered prayers of hope that eventually, one day, I would be able to do something besides hand out cough syrup and antibiotics. In Guatemala I learned about patience. I can't save the world. I can't even save this person. I don't have to - they only want a hug. They need HOPE. They need someone, somewhere to say, YES, you are worth my time, my expertise, my training, my God. Even though you have no money, you can have HIM and you can have me. CHRIST'S HANDS AND FEET. Finally, a meaning connected to those words. LET ME BE YOU HANDS AND FEET. USE ME.
When I visited the people living in the garbage dump of Guatemala City, I felt so inadequate as I handed out our meager fare - stupid for doubting that spiritual outreach should be a top priority. The medical problems would still be there next week, nextmonth, next year. It finally sunk in that the only help, the only hope is the same one we have: JESUS. I finally got what it means to be Christ's hand and feet and that made all the difference. I realized from sharing with our team members that God wants us to be free from the guilt that separates us from HIM. In Guatemala, my spirit grew in leaps and bounds. Below is one of my favorite scriptures that has been a comfort to me during times of sadness and hopelessness."
2 Corinthians 12:9-10 "And He said unto me. My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong."
The Shannon E. Wilson Memorial Scholarship Fund
The name "SewHope" signifies the hope of Shannon E. Wilson, a young physician who had an abounding compassion for the people of Guatemala. Shannon participated in several short term mission trips there and her goal was to become a full-time medical missionary following the completion of her training in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Texas. Tragically, Shannon died in 2006 at the young age of 26 before her dreams could be fulfilled. In addition to her skills as a physician, Shannon was a prolific writer. Her writings continue to encourage us as we work with the people of Guatemala. In memory of her life friends and family of Shannon have established a scholarship fund so that other University of Toledo Medical and Graduate Students might be able to travel with SewHope to Guatemala to become inspired and to help those most in need. The University of Toledo "Students for Medical Missions" have continued to contribute to this fund through their annual fundraiser each year. Contact us if you are interested in applying for this scholarship.