I traveled to Medellín, Colombia, (on a Dynamic Women in Missions short-term medical trip) as a translator and medic and worked in several different areas. In triage, I was asked by a patient, “Why does your team do all this if you get nothing for it?”
I asked the Lord to give me an answer that would glorify him.
I answered, “We want people to know that Jesus cares for you. He loves you, and he wants nothing in return.” The patient was amazed and thanked me.
While waiting to translate for Dr. Breen, I sat in the cubical with a patient and asked her about her symptoms. She told me that she hurts from her shoulders down into her arms because she is the main provider in her house, working her ranch on her own with two daughters and a very old father. She has all this pain because of the hard labor she does.
I was quiet and debating if I should pray with her. Finally, I grabbed her hand, “Let’s pray. God does not give us more than we can handle,” I said.
We prayed and cried together. She was so thankful for our prayer. I suddenly realized why I was called to so many different areas to help. God used me for more than just translating. I had great conversations, showed compassion, and fervently prayed with patients, showing that these qualities are also part of healing.
By Idalia Lazo, Translator and medic on a Dynamic Women in Missions trip
I experienced missions firsthand as a teenager with my church youth group from World Gospel Church. Since then, missions has become an integral part of my life journey. Thirty mission trips later as I prepared to embark on a Dynamic Women in Missions trip to Colombia to serve as a nurse on a medical team, I asked myself some serious questions.
- Can I keep up with the demands of this trip?
- Will I be able to effectively communicate with my patients?
- Do I have as much to offer now as I did in my earlier years?
Since my recent retirement, I wondered if short-term missions was over for me and would I be able to meet the rigors of the trip.
On the second day of clinic in Medellín, Colombia, God began to answer these questions.
The patient/nurse communication issue was seamless when I was assigned a godly young woman who loves people and the Lord with all her heart. Karen partnered with me and attacked the interview process with thoroughness and enthusiasm.
Furthermore, the clinic environment fostered collaboration and collegiality between the health care providers, the patients, and the local church hosts. What a blessing to see God’s hand on the human efforts to real spiritual rewards!
This was my first experience with DWIM and I was not sure how I would relate and fit in with an all-female team. Once again, God was faithful to lead me to a roommate who could encourage and support me and who I could mentor during the trip. The spiritual depth within the team was powerful and made the experience rich and meaningful.
So, the answer to my question: “am I too old to go?” was clearly answered. God proved himself faithful once again by equipping me physically, professionally, and spiritually to accomplish the tasks set before me in Colombia. Only God knows the future, but I am waiting with anticipation to tackle the next mission, whether going or sending.
To God be the Glory!
By Pam Blesch, Dynamic Women in Missions Short-Termer
For more information about how YOU can get involved: https://onemissionsociety.org/give/dynamic-women
To give to Dynamic Women: https://onemissionsociety.org/give/dynamic-women
Are you interested in participating on a short-term medical mission trip to India with an OMS Dynamic Women in Missions team? Check out the trip details here:
Click here to begin your experience.
I came to Medellín to assist the Dynamic Women in Missions short-term medical mission team with translation. I worked in several different areas during the 9-day trip. In triage, I was asked by a Colombian patient: “Why does your team do all this if you get nothing?”
I asked the Lord to give me an answer that would glorify him. I replied, “We want people to know that Jesus cares for and loves you ... yet expects nothing in return.” The patient was amazed and thanked me.
On another occasion, while waiting to translate for Dr. Breen, I sat in the cubical with a patient and asked her about her symptoms. She told me that she hurts in her shoulders and down her arms because she is the main provider in her house, working her ranch on her own with only two daughters and an elderly father. She has all this pain because of the hard labor she does.
I was quiet and debated if I should pray with her. Finally, I reached for her hand and said, “Let’s pray.” I assured her that God does not give us more than we can handle. We prayed and cried together, and she was so thankful for the comforting prayer.
In that moment, I realized why God had called me to serve on this trip. I did much more than just translate. I got to be the healing hands and feet of Jesus through great conversation, compassion, and prayer.
By Idalia Lazo
Editor’s word: This is a longer than normal testimony, but well worth the time to read it. It’s by Jen, an ob/gyn physician from Oregon who participated as a short-term volunteer on an Men for Missions medical mission trip to Haiti in early November 2014.
We arrived at Mango Bridge and set up 4 consultation areas (3 doctors and 1 nurse), 1 chiropractic treatment area, 1 vitals station (blood pressure/pulse), 4 prayer/evangelism stations and a pharmacy. With the strength and grace of God we were able to see, treat and minister to over 200 people! If you speak to each person on our team you will get a different story about what impacted them most at the mobile clinic. I would like to share with you my story...
At the end of the day, a woman entered my consultation "room" to be seen. She had serious scars on her face, neck and right arm. But most distressing of all was her left hand. It was severely swollen and deformed, rendered unusable, and had several open wounds with obviously necrotic tissue. She explained that she had fallen into a fire in June and was severely burned. She then also showed me more scarring on her back and chest. With the help of some people in her church, she had gone to the government-run hospital in Cap-Haitien for treatment. They were able to provide treatment for most of her burns, but recommended that her left hand be amputated. As a single mother of three children, she could not accept this treatment plan as it would render her unable to perform many of the daily tasks that are required of her. So, she returned home.
By God's miraculous power most of her burns healed, although she is left with scars. But her hand was very severely damaged and had become infected. The infection has been so prolonged and severe that the tissue in her fingers had swollen to the point that the skin split open and I could see the bones of each of her fingers. There was obviously dead tissue surrounding each of these splits and also a large open wound on the back of her hand that had likely never healed from the original burn. I was moved to tears. I have never seen anything so horrific in my medical career. I desperately wanted to run away.
She explained how her husband had left her with their three children (ages 6-10) and she used what little money she had to feed and educate her children. She had no money left over for transportation or medical care for herself. She had not seen a doctor since August. She had a tremendous amount of pain, but sat stoically as I examined her mangled hand. More tears. More desire to run.
I spent several minutes emphasizing to this woman the extreme urgency and importance of seeking hospital care for this problem, knowing there was nothing medically meaningful we could do at this mobile clinic. I explained that while a surgeon might not be able to save her hand, they might be able to save her life. I wanted to get her out of my consultation room as quickly as possible, because her hand was disgusting to look at.
But the Holy Spirit tugged my heartstrings and clearly told me there were some things I could do to help this woman. I led her outside to pray with some members of our team and we prayed for miraculous healing. I then led her to the pharmacy area and gathered several supplies. Almost as an afterthought, I had hurried around the (permanent) clinic in the morning to gather some simple surgical tools and supplies (gauze, iodine cleaning solution, tape, scissors, scalpel, tweezers, ointment). These are not items that they typically bring on a mobile medical clinic, but somehow the Lord must have known I would need them.
I gave her an injection of an anti-inflammatory/pain medication and then began the tedious work of cleaning and debriding her wounds. To distract her I began to ask her about her family and she called over a beautiful young girl that she introduced as her daughter. She then showed me a photo of her with her three children. The photo was tattered and obviously a couple of years old, but she held it out for me to see as if it was her most treasured possession. As she shared with me the names of her children her face lit up with a tremendous smile.
The storm clouds began to gather, the rest of the patients had been seen and everyone was quickly packing up the pharmacy and other supplies so we could leave before it started raining. I continued to work and I could tell by the occasional flinches that this was a painful process for her. Once the wounds were cleaned the best I could and some of the dead tissue had been removed, I began to bandage up each one of her almost unrecognizable fingers. At one point while I was concentrating, the woman touched my arm with her good hand to get my attention, looked me in the eye and began to sing to me with the most angelic voice. More tears. But this time all I wanted to do was stay and sit with this beautiful sister in Christ.
I asked the interpreter what the words were to her song. When the woman finished singing she shared that she was singing Psalm 27, which was her favorite Scripture to reflect on when she is facing hardship:
The Lord is my light and my salvation - so why should I be afraid?
The Lord is my fortress, protecting me from danger - so why should I tremble?
The one thing I ask of the Lord - the thing I seek most - is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life...
Yet I am confident I will see the Lord's goodness while I am here in the land of the living.
It is only by a true miracle from the Most High King that this woman - who had so many reasons to be afraid, so many circumstances which could cause her to tremble, so many things she could ask of the Lord, and so many reasons to doubt the goodness of God - could sing these words.
It is only by a true miracle from the Most High King that this woman - a fearful, trembling, unequipped ob/gyn from Oregon, who has spent the past two weeks seeing medical cases that would cause many to doubt the goodness of God - could be shaped into a vessel to pour out His love to one of His hurting daughters.
Today, I praise my heavenly Father for the opportunity to serve His kingdom. I praise Jesus Christ, who came to unite us together in His name. And I praise the Holy Spirit who breaks my heart to the point of action, so that I would not miss my opportunity to bless and to be blessed.
Whatever difficulty you are facing today, hold tight to the promise of Psalm 27 - do not be afraid; do not tremble; you will live in the house of the Lord, and you will see His goodness while you are here in the land of the living.
In His service,
Photos of the actual medical trip, but none include the woman treated. Dr. Jen is pictured in the second picture down, green scrubs.
We hope you enjoyed last night's (Sunday, July 6) One Mission Stories, OMS' radio program, featuring OMS short-term missionary nurses who served in Ecuador on a medical mission trip. If you've ever wanted to join a short-term medical team, you'll enjoy these nurses' stories.
Everyone has a story ... enjoy the University of Indianapolis nurses!
Here are our "After the Show" resources to better connect you with things you heard about on last night's program.
Learn about the Loja (Ecuador) Challenge 2015!
GIVE: If you would like to donate to any OMS ministries, you can do so online.
PRAY: Pray for all the OMS short-term mission trips. Pray for those who have gone in the past and those planning for a future trip.
If you would like to pray for other OMS needs, visit our OMS prayer wall.
BOOKS/RESOURCES: You can purchase all OMS books through our OMS store on Amazon or by contacting the OMS World HQ... call or email Barb Sandoz at 317.888.3333, ext. 313, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
OMS Outreach magazine was also mentioned on the broadcast. If you'd like to view the magazine, you can see it online here.
To connect your
INFO: Tune in to next week's One Mission Stories to hear the testimony of OMS missionary and short-term trip coordinator for Men for Missions, Bill Evans. If you would like to know more about any of our ministries around the world, please email us at email@example.com.
If you missed this program or any of our previous programs, click here to listen to the broadcast on podbean.
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