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April is Limb Loss Awareness Month! Based on a recent study, there are more than 5.6 million people living with limb loss and limb difference in the United States. Of that ~5.6 million, there are ~2.3 million people with limb loss and ~3.4 million people who were born with their limb difference. And every year, there are approximately 185,000 amputations in the US.

We are honored to support this community through our faith-based retreats. Through the years, we have met so many inspiring overcomers, and we know that each of their stories has a special opportunity to touch the lives of others. As we embark upon Limb Loss Awareness Month, this April we will be sharing many powerful, moving, and inspiring Stories of Hope from some of the remarkable young men and women with limb difference we’ve met over the years at our retreats!

When our team receives a Friends of Bethany Care Package request, we do everything within our power to have a quick turnaround because we know how vital it is in the midst of a traumatic limb loss to have a support system. With each request, we pray over the package and send it with a handwritten note. We then send it off in Priority Mail so that it can be received within days of the request.

One of those packages we sent went to a young woman named Nan McMahan. She had been in a jet skiing accident, and in that accident she not only lost her leg, but her father too. When we got word of her story, we were moved with compassion for her, her family, and the trauma they were facing. We put together a package specially made for Nan based on her age and story, and sent it as quickly as we could.

Nan received the care package on the day of her dad’s memorial. It was as if the Lord wanted her to know that He was there with her on this hard day.

With each care package, we let the recipient know about our retreats, and encourage them that they are welcome to come when they are ready to do so. We make ourselves available to them for anything they might need along their road to recovery and steadfastly pray for each of the recipients.

It would be a couple years later in 2022 that we would receive a retreat application from Nan. The crazy thing about her application was the fact that she applied late in the year, after the application had closed. Nan shared that she kept pondering about applying, but due to her busy school schedule she kept putting it off. She said it was when she was traveling abroad that summer she felt the urge to apply for the upcoming retreat. In perfect God fashion, somehow Nan’s application made it into our inbox. Our retreat was already full but we knew we had to accept her.

I, Sarah Hill, was so excited because I had personally spent years praying for Nan since sending her the care package. We felt that everything lined up just as the Lord had wanted, and felt she was supposed to be at the retreat.

When Nan arrived, she had a unique air about her. Her joy filled the room, and she smiled with her larger than life smile, and with a southern drawl said, “I’m Nan.” She needed no further introduction.

Nan, leg amputee, Beautifully Flawed Retreat attendee

I shared with her how I had been praying for her over the years and the miracle of her application making it through. It was so wonderful to talk with Nan, hear how the care package had reached her, and what it meant to her. So often we do not see the other side of the care package story, but to this day, I am reminded of the healing power they have on the receiving end because of Nan.

At that 2022 retreat, I saw God move in such powerful ways in Nan, and I shared with her that I believed that God had some amazing things in store for her life. Nan has now come back to serve in a leadership role, and in 2023, she brought a powerful message that she shared as a speaker at our California retreat:

“Know this… God wants to restore you and turn your pain into purpose. Sometimes it’s hard to see past all that’s been lost, the pain we’ve endured, the brokenness, but God is in the business of restoration. He promises to restore all things one day in Heaven but also here on earth.

We see this in Joel 2 – God’s people go through an extreme hardship where they lose absolutely everything, experience pain, loss of hope, defeat and despair, and yet, God not only restores to them those years that were stolen, but gives to them in great abundance.

They had lost everything, and yet God restored it all back to them and provided more than enough — overwhelming abundance! Whatever you may be walking through today, know that God is true to His word and He will restore all things, turn your trial into a triumph, and make beauty from ashes! Keep trusting Him.”

Nan McMahan, 3x Beautifully Flawed Retreat Attendee/Leader

To think, this all came about because of a care package. When Bethany Hamilton lost her arm, the outpouring of love the world gave her and her family brought so much hope. Together, they saw the best of humanity in the midst of tragedy. It is one of the reasons we believe our Friends of Bethany Care Package is so important. It allows us to pay it forward in a small way, and trust the impact will be a lasting one.

We are always welcoming new items donated to this special program. Please never hesitate to reach out if you are a business owner who has small items that might be a blessing to add to the package.

 

Aloha,
Sarah Hill Signature
Sarah Hill
Executive Director
The Beautifully Flawed Foundation

Make Incredible Things Happen

Help further our mission and programs that support young people living with limb difference or those who’ve experienced traumatic limb loss by making a tax-deductible donation.