No More Running Away

November 21 2014

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,

Jen

Photos of the actual medical trip, but none include the woman treated. Dr. Jen is pictured in the second picture down, green scrubs.

Tags: haiti, medical missions, doctor, compassion, short-term trip,

Teens Share the Gospel in Colombia, Part 2

September 17 2014

Here's part 2 of the Carlson kids' testimonies. Micah, an OMS missionary kid (MK), shares his story of their short-term trip to Colombia to share the Gospel.

I don’t like evangelism because it makes me nervous. It’s not so much a fear of sharing my faith, but of not wanting to knock on the door. It’s so much easier with three people (me, the interpreter, and a local church member) because you only have to worry about a third of it!

What impacted me most was how much fun it was with four other teenage guys on the team. It was a privilege for all of us to be able to share Jesus with others, especially alongside our dads.

The Colombian ministry team prays for weeks, but Sunday we joined them to prayer walk on a hill that overlooks the city of Medellin. We prayed, “God would you open the heavens, open doors, open hands and open hearts?” He did. Mine as well.

One door God opened was with a little 12 year-old girl, her mom, and her very old grandpa who sat slumped in a wheelchair. The crumbling house was crowded as we squished into their tiny living room. I recounted a story of God’s provision for something he knew I needed once: a bicycle when mine was stolen. The Colombian family listened and nodded. After hearing the plan of salvation, they all wanted to accept Jesus! We had the privilege of giving them a gift, just like the bicycle God had provided for me. This gift was Jesus, someone God knew they needed.

Our second day in the neighborhood, 106 people came to Christ. The pastor expressed his gratitude with emotion, “Thank you for coming. We've been praying for this.” I was asked to pray in Spanish to thank the Lord for the fruitfulness that day. Many were in tears because they had never had so many people come to Christ.

I would tell my Christian friends that participating on an evangelism team is a good experience. Everyone should do it at least once. It’s good for faith. You have to trust God the whole week. It’s what God wants you to do.

Tags: teen missions, short-term trip, colombia, door-to-door, evangelism,

One Mission Stories "After the Show" - Colombia ST Team

May 15 2014

We hope you enjoyed Sunday night's (May 18) One Mission Stories, OMS' one-hour missionary interview-style radio program, featuring three gentlemen that participated on an OMS short-term mission trip to Colombia. Fernando Cervantes, an Indianapolis police officer, Ben Greenbaum, an associate pastor of two Greenwood, IN, churches, and Bill Evans, an OMS missionary serving as the director of ministry teams with Men for Missions.

The program features many stories of changed lives as the team did door-to-door evangelism.

Everyone has a story ... enjoy this Colombia short-term team's!

Here are our "After the Show" resources to better connect you with things you heard about on last night's program.

GO: Do you want to be a missionary, either short- or long-term with OMS? Check out the opportunities, including all the upcoming short-term trips with MFM.

GIVE: If you would like to donate to any OMS ministries, you can do so online.

PRAY: Pray for the Saturation Antioquia ministry in Colombia. Pray that all those who accepted Christ would grow. Pray for those who did not ... that God would bring the right person into their lives.Pray for Fernando as he serves as an Indianapolis police officer. Pray for Ben as he pastors and for his family. Pray for Bill as he directs the short-term teams being sent around the world for a life-changing journey.

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 bsandoz@onemissionsociety.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 kids to fun mission activities, check out our One Mission Kids website.

If you are interested in attending OMS' International Conference, click here for more information and registration.

Learn about the Loja (Ecuador) Challenge 2015!

INFO: Tune in to next week's One Mission Stories to hear the stories from longtime OMS missionary Judy Amos, who served in Japan for 41 years. If you would like to know more about any of our ministries around the world, please email us at radio@onemissionsociety.org.

If you missed this program or any of our previous programs, click here to listen to the broadcast on podbean.

Each week, you can listen live on Freedom 95 at 95.9 FM or 950 AM or live streaming at www.freedom95.us. Our programs air every Sunday night from 7-8 p.m.

Tags: colombia, short-term trip, short-term missions, evangelism, door-to-door, evangecube