Visions come fast and unfold slowly; God is faithful with both. I am thankful for the long history of Tennessee teams that have established relationships, schools, clinics and churches in this area. And I am deeply grateful that new people continue to rise up and meet needs.
This is this team’s first “medical mission” together. It has been 8 years since our church was involved in a medical mission beyond dental care. We got our feet wet by setting up a clinic in the community of La Mantanita in an Evangelical Pentecostal church building. Pastor Nicholas has been serving there for 28 years. We set up reception, triage, two exam rooms, a pharmacy and waiting area. In our two days there we triaged and treated about 140 patients. Jose and the Salud y Paz team were fantastic with us. Pastor Nicolas is the father-in-law of Pastor Manuel at San Antonio so it was nice to make the connection. It is humbling always to discover how welcoming everyone is to allow us to be in their communities and in their lives.
Our third medical mission day took us to familiar ground. The John Wesley clinic building in San Antonio received fresh paint, a thorough cleaning and general attentive care to prepare for the medical team’s arrival. Adolfo helped prior to the prep team and Steve, Joe, Rachel and Adam followed. When we set up yesterday we are blessed to have this great space!
The front yard of the clinic was full when we arrived on Saturday. And it continued to be full as we treated 91 patients. Many will wait to be seen on Monday. This mission team is working as if they have been together for years. I am reminded of how it works when following Christ is the common thread running through a gathered group of people; it is different: “Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yoruself with sober judgement, in accordance with the faith God has given you. Just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we who are many form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. We have different gifts, according to te grace given us….” (Romans 12:3-6a).
It amuses me how quick we have all become to “specialize” and forget that God uses our gifts in a variety of ways; some of which will surprise us. Gretchen’s chemistry background has been awesome for the pharmacy, while her expertise as a mom has been calming for many mothers who bring their children. Jenny being an Urologist has still prepared her well for general medical. Annie B.’s interest in medicine allows her to float from triage to assisting docs to pharmacy with ease. Lori’s attention to detail make setting up pharmacy a joy….the list goes on and on. I am loving doing vital signs and triage all over again! Mitzi emerges from her exam room each day with a look of pure joy.
The medical team saw 91 patients on Saturday. God is so good!