We had the opportunity this past week to help out at our church here in Guatemala, Iglesia Ciudad de Refugio, with a medical mission team. A team came from Georgia and we were helping with translation. The physician’s assistant I was working with said to me at one point that before she came on this trip she wasn’t sure how much of an impact she would be making for The Kingdom. She then told me she realized that if nothing else she was at least bringing people to the church, they were hearing the gospel, and the church would be here to sustain a relationship with the people of the community and hopefully bring them closer to Jesus.
As I replayed this conversation yesterday during my devotional time I couldn’t help but think “what if everyone believed the lie, what I’m able to contribute won’t make a real difference?” There would be SO much that wouldn’t get done for The Kingdom.
Take for instance this ONE medical team who was here for ONE week. Every day 150 numbers were given to people who would stand in the hot sun, in a line almost a block long, waiting for just the CHANCE to get one of those 150 numbers and see a doctor. You see for the majority of these people this is their only hope for treatment. These are people who deal with internal infections, pain, parasites, and much more for months or even years. When I would hear how long they had these symptoms it would break my heart. Dylan has been sick for a little over a week and I have had stomach pain for a little over 3 days. We both are taking medication to help us feel better and are so thankful that God has provided medication to help with these things. Neither of us could imagine living with this for months or YEARS!!! So, why do the people here wait this long?? Because they can’t afford to go to the doctor. Even if they CAN get to the free clinic they don’t bother going because they know they will not be able to afford the medicine the doctor will prescribe them and normally the clinic does not have samples to give away. In the 4 days this team was here they served 600 people for general medical needs and 600 people for eye exams and glasses.
The people who came to this clinic heard the gospel of Jesus Christ, were told about the church services and church programs, such as Celebrate Recovery, that are available to serve them AND they were given medicine to heal them and glasses to restore their sight. Had this team not come this would have not happened!!
When Jesus came to live here on Earth with us He not only shared with people about the good news of the Kingdom of God but He also healed them and restored their sight. He also taught His disciples and us to do the same. He cared for people spiritually and physically and He calls us all to work together to do the same.
I know by the end of the week the physician’s assistant I was working with knew for sure that her time here made an impact and I’ve seen this happen in many short term trips. I remember feeling some of the same feelings before I made my first short term missions trip. To be honest, I still fight against some of those same lies even now as a long term missionary. But we must remember Jesus has given ALL of us special skills and a part to play in bringing people closer to Him. For those of you who are like me and really can’t think of any special skills you are really good at, let me share with you the words God gave my husband to encourage me. Dylan said, “Honey, remember what 1 Corinthians 13 says about love being the greatest gift we can offer people. You can speak in tongues, you can prophesy, you can give to the poor and work hard but none of that means anything if there’s not love and that’s something of which you have a lot to give and you do very well.” So even if “all” you can do is love someone it’s still VERY important. Jesus has given each of us a part to play in bringing others to him and He wants to use each of us in the specific ways He’s designed us to accomplish this. Never believe the lie that your part, no matter how big or small, isn’t important!!