Catzuqui de Leticia. A crazy name, I know, but this was the location of our fifth and final clinic. We had 4 incredible days of clinic prior to this final day. We were all a little tired but also excited because this final clinic day was located at Pastor Christian and Eva’s home church! So we had a neat opportunity to minister directly to the people in their own community. After another wonderful breakfast prepared by the members of the church and a brief time of bi-lingual fellowship over hot tea, we set out in our trusty vans to set up and prepare for our last day of clinic.
As we pulled up into the little parking area for our vans, which was really just a dusty, dirty side road in the community, we could already see that today was going to be a busy day. People were already lined up at the check in station that the church set up. As we talked with a few folks in the waiting line, we learned that many of these people woke up and walked to the church at 5:30 AM to have a chance to come to our clinic! This was very encouraging and motivating for our team and we began to work with more effort to get the clinic patient ready.
Finally, we opened up and people began to flood in to the waiting area. There were so many families. In fact, the very first family was a family of 10! So we had to split them up into two different doctor rooms. But it was so refreshing to see so many tight knit families. As the morning turned into afternoon we had a brief pause for lunch. And a sweet church member opened up her entire home to us and fed us delicious Ecuadorian cuisine. The Ecuadorians are very hospitable and so kind. This lady hadn’t met us until today, but because she was apart of the church that we were helping and a fellow sister in Christ, she desired to serve in the capacity that she knew how. Food and fellowship. I am so thankful for this sweet sister and her openness and hospitality. I think we can all learn a lesson from her and remember that we, too, should be willing and ready to open our home to people who cannot repay us. We could never repay her for her time, energy, and effort. We could only celebrate with her that her service to our team was a Godly act in assisting God’s mission of advancing the Gospel through her church and our team.
The afternoon wore on with patient and after patient and family after family butt not without opportunities to personally pray and witness to our patients. We as a team wanted to make sure that we were being sensitive and loving towards the people in front of us and not just treat their physical needs. One team member recounted a story about a woman and mom that came into the clinic. As the team member was talking to them, the team member asked about what makes their pain feel worse. The patient responded by saying that when she is stressed and anxious. That response was definitely God opening a door to further questioning. The team member asked why she was stressed and anxious. The patient responded by describing the fact that she is getting older and she has no husband or children and her mom is very old (she was late 60’s and her mom as almost 90!). God brought a passage of scripture to the mind of this team member.
“But now thus says the LORD, he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. I give Egypt as your ransom, Cush and Seba in exchange for you. Because you are precious in my eyes, and honored, and I love you, I give men in return for you, peoples in exchange for your life.” Isaiah 43:1-4
At that time, the team member began to pray for this lady and her mom that they would know the love of God; that they would know that while they may feel anxious about being alone, God is with them and He will be an everlasting friend; and that God would draw near to their hearts. It was a sweet time of personal intercession and love both for the physical pain and the emotional struggle that only God can meet. After the prayer hugs and thanks were had all around. It was a sweet time. But we must not forget that this patient’s story is not unique. There are people all around us in our own community that are anxious and lonely. Take time to talk and ask questions and pray that God might open a door for you to pray and speak truth into a desperate soul!
Towards the end of the afternoon God had a really cool final demonstration of his plan. As we were all working, a lady from a nearby daycare came by because she heard that we were at the church. She asked if we would be willing to check out all the children in the daycare. So we sent a nurse/MD pair down there to perform some quick pediatric well checks. Or so we thought. This medical pair, selflessly spend almost the next 2 hours in this daycare, seeing all kinds of children and daycare workers. And what was unexpected was the amount of children that had some sort of sickness or infection. Until that Friday, we hadn’t used much of our pediatric antibiotics. But that was because God was saving it for this last day! From sinus infections, to ear infection, and other colds, thi medical pair graciously and patiently saw many sick children in the daycare and we had just enough medication for all those little children who needed it. God was working throughout the week to surprise us an away we hadn’t expected to take care of these precious little children.
By the time the clinic closed and we broke down, we saw 240 patients that day. We were tired but God sustained us. After the clinic ended, the local church and our team had dinner together and discussed how the week went. It was a sweet time of church members sharing in Spanish of their appreciation for our team and the encouragement it was to share Christ alongside each other. Likewise, members of our team shared how the churches love of people and desire to spread God’s word impacted them. Again, it was a sweet time of fellowship and sharing. Many tears were shed and hugs were given during that dinner as we together marveled at what God can do through us, despite language and cultural barriers, to reach precious souls. It was a great picture of Jesus breaking down barriers and in Christ making one man out of two for the purpose of His mission just like Paul describes in Ephesians 2. This was a great finish to the week of clinics.