My trip to Ecuador taught me that God is working, even when we can’t see it clearly. My desire to go on a medical mission trip started early this year. I really did not have complete faith when I decided to sign up, that I would actually be going. I began to have a lot of anxiety when looking at the “price tag”. I waited until the last day to submit my paperwork after praying with a friend that the Lord would provide some assistance financially. The very next day I received a Scholarship and in the weeks following friends and family made generous donations. This was a confirmation that God was working already to make this trip possible for me.
Having never been on a medical mission trip, I was not sure what to expect or what my contribution would be as a student. One of the biggest things I noticed was how grateful the local people were, even thanking me when “all I did” for them was test their blood sugar. They were ready to hug and give the local greeting of “air kisses” on the cheek. I would mostly assist the physicians in the general medicine area. I was amazed that they physicians seemed to pray with almost every one of their patients even though there was a long line waiting for care. It really drove home the idea that the most important thing they could do for these people was lead them to Christ or give them spiritual support. It was very powerful when I was able to pray for people when I worked in the triage area, I even had the opportunity to share the gospel when assisting at the reading glasses table. I was apprehensive when asked to share but was amazed when God gave me the words I needed to say. It gave me more confidence going forward to share my faith.
Even though I did not experience any “dramatic” moments that I was perhaps expecting, I saw God working in the “small moments” - the short prayers after receiving medical care, the joy of being able to read again with new glasses, the tears shed when crying with team members over their lost children. We can never truly know the impact we had in these people’s lives. Only God knows and even if we just planted seeds, God will send workers in the future to grow their faith. A big focus of the trip was also strengthening and supporting the local church. It was very powerful when someone would accept Christ and we could take them to the pastor or a church member to pray with them and connect them with a Christian community. God brought every team member and every patient there that week for a specific reason. It was amazing to be a part of that experience. My faith and my love for people from all over the world and different backgrounds was strengthened. I pray for more opportunities to attend trips like this in the future and to do outreach in my own community.