There was a collective sigh of relief as we boarded the bus at the end of the day. The team members agreed that the work flow was steady and pleasant, and La Cuchilla's milder temperatures kept our spirits light.
The general consensus was that the community was healthy overall, but had many needs. The school where we worked was typical with cement floors, unscreened windows, and a tin roof, but there were a few new twists. A lovely outdoor play/stage area, a satellite dish, and a computer lab were recently added. It was great to see the traditional blended with the modern in hopes of better educating their children.
The people who came to the clinic today waited patiently to receive help for a variety of things which would seem minor back home, but are major for those who have nowhere else to turn. Rashes, aches and pains, itchy feet, coughs, difficulty reading small print, upset stomachs are hard to treat when there is no medical care available.
And then there were those who arrived with major problems like suspected cancer, long-term effects of polio, head injury concerns, and cerebral palsy. Our doctors and nurses extended the greatest compassion and worked hard with the local staff to get each one the help they needed. A perfect example was the young girl who came into the clinic with the help of her shiny, new walker provided by the FOBF as the result of a previous team's referral.
Theresa shared about giving her cross necklace to a woman with a 15-day-old ankle injury in hopes of offering her comfort in the pain. Emily mentioned a woman with significant high blood pressure whom she referred for further evaluation and treatment.
The acts of kindness, mercy, and compassion offered by our team are a tightly woven cord that connects us to Christ's Great Commission.
Erin's devotion tonight challenged us to consider the definition of evangelism and missions and how they link together to fulfill The Great Commission (Matthew 28:19). She shared that making disciples is not just about winning individuals to Christ but about making communities of believers among all people groups around the world-- the very reason we are here.
Our discussion led us to the message of the community welcome before each day of clinics. John and Scott have been sharing the words of the late Don Pierce, former missioner and FOBF board member, as a way of sharing the gospel and communicating the meaning of our work. His words tie together the gospel and the mission.
Here is an excerpt:
"And so, as we prepare to open the clinic, I would like to offer a blessing.
Let us pray:
My brothers and sisters,
may your health be strong,
may your children be happy, healthy, and safe,
may your years be many,
and may God protect you, heal you, and pour out His blessings upon you,
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."
May Don's blessing cover us all. May his words pass through the generations. And may the Lord continue to use everyone of us to fulfill His Great Commission.