CBF Field Personnel / COVID-19 / Field Personnel / Field Personnel Columns / refugees

How God used a misunderstanding to keep unused vaccine from being thrown away

By Steve Clark

Recently, we received a text on a Saturday afternoon from a friend who works at the local refugee agency. She was forwarding a message from a local pharmacy that had contacted her, desperate for her help.  

They had some leftover vaccinations that needed to be used within two hours or the pharmacy would be required to throw them out. Our friend was hoping we would know how to get in touch with any refugees we knew who might be able to drop everything and rush over to the pharmacy to get their vaccination.  

She included the address in the text, so I decided to call the pharmacy and confirm the available vaccinations.  When I tried to look up the pharmacy’s phone number online, there was no pharmacy listed at the address I was given. So, we called the pharmacy we knew on the same street, and asked if there were still vaccinations left over and how many openings we could help them fill. When we finally got through the voice prompts, the pharmacist told us there was only one vaccination left! We asked him to hold it for us so we could send him someone who really needed the vaccination. 

We called a young Karen man with a compromised immune system caused by a terrible bout with Dengue fever shock he had had as a boy. The young man immediately dropped everything and met us at the pharmacy so we could help him get his vaccination. 

That’s when we learned that this pharmacy was NOT the place that had given our friend the information about the extra vaccines!  

The address my friend gave me was actually for a Louisville Neighborhood Place where the pharmacy was operating a vaccination clinic. So, when we finished with the young Karen man, we rushed out to the vaccination site to see if there were still vaccines left over; but they had been able to fill all the empty slots in their sign-up sheet without our help. 

God had sent us to the wrong pharmacy; but it actually turned out to be the right pharmacy.  We accidentally had sent a young man to a place that had a leftover vaccination that was going to be thrown out.   

The pharmacist was thrilled that we called; the young Karen man was thrilled to get the vaccination; and we were amazed at how God used a misunderstanding to keep an unused vaccination from being thrown away, giving an unexpected, much-needed vaccination to a Karen refugee.

Steve Clark and his wife, Annette Ellard, are Cooperative Baptist Fellowship field personnel serving in Louisville, Kentucky, among large population of refugees from Burma who began being resettled there in 2006. Learn more about Steve and Annette’s ministry at www.cbf.net/clark.

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