Someone recently asked me what I was doing here, what was the purpose and plan. People are working all over the world, from hometowns to foreign soils, for all sorts of reasons. For the work here, there certainly is an aspect of service to those in need. That service involves caring for bodies because there are souls which, for the moment, are inseparably linked with those bodies. So, part of day to day life is serving and treating patients. As the door opens and closes, changing from one patient to the next, the need changes. Some come with hope, others with despair. Within this little portion of the world, in a relatively small span of time, I hope to be able to enter in to the moments and engage patients at the point of their need.
But also, part of the goal is to train others to serve better, with more appropriate skill and care. Practically, there are women dying throughout the developing world because there are not skilled providers to care for them. Pregnancy and birth are the most dangerous times in life for the large majority of women scattered beneath the span of the sky. Local caregivers need to be trained to give better medical care to those who come to them seeking help. Part of what I do is to provide some oversight of care in order to teach midwives and improve healthcare given within our setting.
Ultimately, all of what we do is aimed toward making the gospel clearly seen (and heard). We say that God loved the world so much that He served and gave. We hope that as we serve, we bring the perspective to others that makes Christ known.
However, the dreams are not accomplished in a moment. Change is slow and often frustrating. Improvements in healthcare are limited by so many things. Personal struggles often leave me not reflecting Christ well. Sometimes I wonder if change will ever come – both to the work itself and to the shaping of my own heart.
But I do see the faithfulness of God in His working here. I see that He is still drawing people to Himself. And, as always, He is using the frailness of humanity to reveal the greatest needs of the human heart – the need for Him. Sickness and poverty and despair all point that there must be something better to put hope in besides what the world alone can offer. Even the strongest of flesh will let you down. The cries of the heart long for the One they were created for, and when they cry, He is faithful to answer.