East Asia Testimony
Click here to see the gallery of portraits drawn by the volunteer.
I did not know what to expect on my first medical
mission trip. But I was certain that the Lord had made the way for me by putting
together the finances and all the other details so I could go. After
meeting up with my other team members and the staff, I was very
excited and comfortable with whatever lay ahead of us.
Working with the gracious and loving local workers, we set up a clinic in a live in vocational school for the worker's children. These young people were amazing and they lived
with the bare necessities . They had no showers or restroom facilities
except the holes in the ground that we affectionately called "squatty potties'.
But they were always diligent and cheerful students. They cooked dinner for us
every day that we were there and served us with joyful smiles.
workers and the people from the slums came to the clinic to be seen
by our team doctors , receive medicine and get reading glasses. Before we left,
we provided physical exams for all the students. I served as the triage nurse .With the help of a
translator, we would meet the people and gather their medical information when
they came to the clinic. When my job was done, if I wasn't needed in the
"pharmacy", I drew pencil portraits of the beautiful faces of the people.
They were all excited and grateful to have their portraits drawn and hugged me
when I gave them drawings to them. It was wonderful having them smile at
me while I was drawing. I used the opportunity to pray for each one. One of our hosts saw me drawing and asked me if I would draw his daughter's
portrait in on an existing family portrait that was done before they adopted
their daughter. He told me that he and his wife had prayed for five years for an
artist to come to do this. Our team went to his home and I drew the portrait for
them. They were thrilled and I was very honored to be used to answer their
prayer. It was a greater blessing that I imagined I would find when I agreed to participate on the trip.
I am doing pastel portraits
from the photos that I took. I continue to pray for each one as I
Northern Africa Testimony
It is still remarkable to me how God is able to put total strangers together and form a team that not only works well together, but will form lasting friendships between the members of the team. Before we even arrived at our destination I knew God had put us all together by his divine design, and I hoped it would not be the one and only time we would work together.
Our first day "in country" was spent getting briefed on the customs of the area. We were taught how to dress and were given the native dress by our hosts to wear. I didn't think I would ever learn to dress myself in the local dress, but with four other ladies giving me aid in this matter, I was appropriately covered most of the time. Once dressed, we went to a wedding feast that was being held for one of the ladies of the village. We were told it was an honor to the bride for us to attend. It helped us to learn something of their customs. One thing I found interesting was that after the official ceremony, the bride was kidnapped and "hidden" from her husband for a period of four days. The festivities we attended were during this four-day period. Then, the husband found his bride, rescued her, and took her to their new home.
Later in the evening, we went to visit with a fellow believer in his home. He served us tea and a meal; we laughed and danced. Our host told his personal story about how God came into his life, and you could see the joy in his face when he talked about his salvation.
The next day was a work day. We held our clinic at a village that has had regular visits from our group as well as other groups. The village woman who helped start the clinics there was also a believer. She said, "I am poor, but others are poorer than I. I will serve them as God directs." I was glad this was our first village since I needed to learn how things worked, and this seemed rather uncomplicated. The women of the village prepared our meal, and we ate as was the custom.
During these first few days one experience stands out in particular. To me, this experience was worth all the effort and expense of the trip. As we were touring the local hospital, we found a mother in active labor. One member of our group was offered the opportunity to stay with her while the others completed the tour of the facility. During that time the mother delivered her baby, who had aspirated muconium during the birth process. When our tour guide returned to retrieve our friend, she found our friend delivering the baby. Their quick thinking allowed them to assist the baby to cough up the muconium, which undoubtedly saved its life. Then, they gave the baby boy to his mother who was very grateful for their help.
Later in the week, we were allowed access to a village where volunteers from organizations such as ours had never been. We discovered that there was a native nurse in the village. He showed us the tools of his trade, and I was very impressed with his equipment. He even had a EKG machine that worked. However, we did find quite a few people who were sick and needed care. I thank God that we were able to deliver the care they needed. We hope that future groups will be able to follow up at a later time with this same village.
Next, we went to a village that has received regular care from our group as well as other groups. Nothing could have prepared me for the welcoming we received at this village. The entire village was gathered around the community house when we arrived. Before the vehicles even stopped, we heard drums and saw dancing. We clapped and danced with the villagers for quite some time. Then, we had a formal greeting from the mayor of the village. He welcomed us in their traditional manner with hot sweetened tea and a meal. Later that evening, there was a big party with more dancing and clapping. Everyone danced until after midnight. I still think our leader was given a proposal of marriage at this time,but not knowing the language or having a translator made it difficult for her to accept his proposal.
I could go on for several more pages about our experiences, like how we laughed when my malafa got tangled, how someone's suitcase finally arrived the day we were to return home, and how God allowed the supply of our medicine to last until the end even when we thought we were totally out. This was the experience of a lifetime. I learned that God not only sent me on this trip to be a blessing to others, but He also sent me there to change the way I think and feel about His world.