I’ve worked with medical campaigns twice before, so I knew what to expect and I thought I would be ready for anything, but I was mistaken. I wasn’t ready for much of anything. I wasn’t ready for our first patient to be a little girl with a leg infection so bad that if she didn’t get the leg amputated she would die (a procedure her family could most likely not afford). I wasn’t ready for our third patient, a 37 year old mother of five, to be carried in on a blanket by four guys because her breast cancer was so far advanced that she was too weak to walk. I wasn’t ready for dozens of abused women to come in needing help, but us not being able to do anything for them…at least not physically. I wasn’t ready for a woman who was being beaten and abused to come in and break down in front of us, and then the very next patient to be her husband who was responsible for most of the abuse. Talk about having to control ones emotions. Only God’s grace allowed me to be able to translate for the man. And I definitely wasn’t ready for 6 and 7 year old girls to come in with STDs, many of which came from their own fathers. Did I expect these things? Yes. Was I ready for these things? Certainly not.
A lot of people don’t understand why we live where we live and do what we do. The simple answer is that God has called us here. He set a pretty easy-to-understand example of what we are to do, and His word is very clear on the matter. We are to love one another, just as Christ has loved us. There are lots of passages in the Bible that show us that we are to love and serve one another, and one such passage I read recently is Romans 12:6-21
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us…if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality…. Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited…Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
The week we spent up (further) in the mountains was tough both physically and emotionally, but that’s what God calls us to do. He calls us to serve others, to encourage and teach them, to help those who are in need, and above all to love. That’s what we try to do every day. As difficult as it is to tell a father that his daughter needs treatment/surgery or she could die, knowing the whole time that they can’t afford to go to a hospital, is very difficult, but God hasn’t called us to do what is easy. We went, we helped as much as we could, we prayed hard and now we leave it up to God. Hundreds of people were exposed to the Gospel in that week. That is the main purpose for going. Those few days in that town have allowed for the discipleship to grow in that area. By us going there we were able to help physically and more importantly spiritually, all the while showing the love of Christ to the people there. As it says in 1 John 4:7 Daniel
“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God.”