War-torn and ravaged Sierra Leone, still reeling from 12 years of civil war. Drug-addicted child soldiers. Unimaginable medical needs. Now the poorest nation in the world, it can’t heal its people and rebuild its infrastructure. This is one of several countries – and causes – that Dr. Lori Basey and Sandy Orchard have been called to serve. But now they’ve been called to serve Edmond as well.
Basey, a therapist, and Orchard, a registered nurse, met up in 2002. Both were devoted missionaries. After meeting, they realized their skills complemented each other nicely – and that they were both in demand in needy countries. They put their heads together, developed a unique missionary strategy and formed their very own nonprofit group, No Boundaries International, in late 2005.
To a large degree, NBI grew out of Orchard and Basey’s dissatisfaction with their comfortable lifestyles.
“We’d achieved the American Dream and it just hit us,” says Basey. “There’s more we can do. We’ve been to local areas with the homeless but had no idea there were such needs in Edmond. We looked around and realized there are things we can do in the Edmond and Oklahoma City area.”
Regardless of where it finds itself, NBI distinguishes itself with a holistic approach to helping others. Basey and Orchard focus on training, inner healing, medical help and evangelization. Many relief agencies concentrate on only one of these areas.
NBI’s experience suggests that focusing on one area at the exclusion of the other three does little good. This combined strategy tackles everything from endemic diseases with medical care to post traumatic stress disorder with therapy and spiritual healing.
“To make a long-lasting difference in the lives of those locally and globally, it’s vital to consider their physical, emotional, social, and spiritual needs,” says Orchard. “It’s not sufficient to cover only one area. Our example is emulating the life of Jesus. He fed the hungry, ministered to the tormented, healed the sick, and shared the Good News of salvation while being culturally sensitive.”
After two years in countries like Sierra Leone, Basey and Orchard turned their humanitarian gaze to Edmond and Oklahoma City.
“Many people have said to me, ‘Why do you go across the world when there are many people who have great needs right here in our backyard?’” says Basey.
A recent trip to downtown Oklahoma City further opened Basey’s eyes to the continued need in her own backyard.
“The poverty overwhelmed me. I saw several prostitutes being picked up in the middle of the day,” says Basey. “Sadly, these things are to be somewhat expected in third world countries, but they are happening within miles
of my home.”
In Oklahoma City NBI not only touches souls with evangelization – it feeds and clothes them as well. It also helps at-risk youths, works with the Oklahoma Housing Authority to help the elderly and executes quarterly outreach programs geared towards prostitutes and the homeless.
Basey’s trip led to the birth of Project H.O.P.E., a local program aimed at aiding the homeless, oppressed, prostitutes and the elderly. While Edmond has different needs than Oklahoma City, Edmond’s needs are no less significant. Still in its nascent stages, NBI’s program helps roughly 600 people per month in Oklahoma County, including approximately 120 people per month in Edmond. Partnering with other local organizations, NBI looks for opportunities to help Edmond’s at-risk youth – those who need after school programs, tutoring, and nutritional help.
NBI’s work in Edmond doesn’t stop at addressing immediate needs. NBI also emphasizes missionary training in Edmond – raising a new, competent and dedicated generation of missionaries.
Despite its success around the world, NBI sees its work as only just beginning. There is hope, but it’s a long way from being a perfect world.
“The thing about mission work is that the work is never truly done until the day Jesus Christ comes back,” says NBI’s Public Relations Director, Jacey Jacobs. “Our goal, in any country we go to, and the same with our lives here in Oklahoma, is ultimately to leave the hope that comes from knowing Christ. Unfortunately, there will always be trials and devastation in the world since it’s imperfect. However, we believe that every life and every person can impact the world around us and together we can make a lasting change.” For more information, visit www.nbint.org.