It is easy to only think of the medical clinics we conduct as an effort to physically heal people in the village. While it is true that we do hope to help people who might not otherwise receive medical care their whole lives, it is important to know that these clinics do so much more.
As I mentioned yesterday, during the clinics our teams are afforded the opportunity to pray for many of our patients. We ask every patient if we may pray, and after getting permission, we then proceed to pray for them. Almost every patient allows us to pray for them. Personally, this is astounding. As Christians, we are allowed to pray for almost every patient we see in a village and country that is over 95% Muslim. The medical clinic allows us to attend to our patients’ medical and spiritual needs. In serving, Jesus is revealed in two tangible ways that the patients can take with them.
Medical clinics can also breaks down relationship barriers. Our clinic in Ngogobe is one such moment where this occurred. Before ever sending a complete mission team into a village, our host organization sends a couple of the church’s/organization’s representatives to talk with the village. These “vision teams” help create a relationship between the two groups and set a foundation for future interactions. Our church’s 2007 vision team meeting went smoothly and created a relationship that has lasted for five years so far.
Our church’s first meeting with Ndjemane went well, but that is not always the case. The first meeting between an organization and the village of Ngogobe fell apart very quickly. After a brief period of time, the two sides walked away a little bit frustrated and/or disappointed. This meeting was held a couple of weeks prior to our arrival. Our host organization asked us to use one of our clinic days to serve in Ngogobe. With preparation in prayer, we gladly agreed and spent many hours seeing many of Ngogobe’s hurting and sick residents. The barriers were breaking down and relationships were being healed.
A village was beginning to put up walls and there was an increasing risk that any relationships with our hosts, their teams, and the village might never occur again. Instead, God worked through a small group of willing servants to soften hearts. Through medicine, relationships were being restored. As I said before, it is easy to only focus on the medical needs that we are addressing, but God is using our service in so many other, and more powerful, ways.
I pray that God uses our clinics again this year in mighty ways that extend beyond the physical needs of our friends in Senegal.
A Little Help Goes A Long Way
I am leaving for Senegal in February, 2012 to be a part of a medical team that is providing medical care to the people of Ndjemane and other adjacent villages. Please be a part of my trip and help. There are a three main ways you can help:
- Pray for the medical team and me. As we just read, God answers prayers and I believe he will answer our prayers about this team.
- Share these stories. I pray that as I tell stories to raise funds for the medical clinic that people will also hear the Good News about the love that God has for a small village in Africa and how He also loves each one of us. It is a powerful and showering love that every person should have the opportunity to hear.
- Most important to me is prayer and sharing these stories. However, if you would like to donate money to assist me with serving in Senegal. Check out the sidebar to the right to see how much I still need so I can cover all of my expenses in Senegal. (Here is the link to PayPal to donate to my trip.)
However you participate, thank you for being a part of the February 2012 Medical Team!
If you have gotten this far, here is a picture of Amy and me goofing off after our Ngogobe clinic closed. Do not let her short stature confuse you… she is scrappy. The second picture is a child from Ndjemane. I thought it was a cool picture and wanted to share.