We are a very results orientated culture. Heck, a very “results” orientated WORLD.
Fix this. Help with that. Put that up over there. Drive here and pick that up for me. Operate on that.
Good things. SUCH good things. Needed things for sure.
But what happens when God awakens something inside of you so deep and so clear that you know that you know that you KNOW where He wants you, and yet it doesn’t fit nicely into a box of accomplishment that the eyes always see instantaneously?
Over the last 36 years I’ve been around a lot of Christians. Maybe even more than non-Christians, if I’m honest.
I grew up in ‘the church.’ I went to discipleship classes when that was the thing to do. I went on every mission’s trip my church offered, both local and out of the country, when I was in high school. I lead a bible study on a few occasions. We prayed. Lots. But it was part of the project. It was how we “closed it out,” or sometimes even how we “opened,” but it was never THE reasonwe went where we went.
As I began to realize more and more clearly the heart God put inside of me – one that sometimes aches so badly for the hurts and the struggles and the confusion I see when He opens up my heart to someone – I realized I was different. Or maybe, rather, I realized what He wanted from me was different.
So when a friend calls and says her sister is in a horrible place and no one seems to be able to help her shake it – I go.
When another friend’s mother’s friend is dying in the hospital and they have no hope left – I go.
When my own family is struggling or hurting or sick – I go.
A little history on this trip – over 5 months ago when it was first presented to Lakeland, the team they were hoping for was to be made up of a bunch of skilled plumbers, electricians, construction workers, medical staff, etc. The Do-ers.
And yet, I couldn’t shake the knowing in my soul -from the moment the video that first played introducing the hospital – that THIS what where I was being told to ‘go’ next.
So I applied. And I prayed. And I let it go.
And by the grace of God, a short time later, I received the call inviting me to be a part of the trip.
Let me be clear, although I can hang a mean picture, and attach a mean toilet seat, and possibly even sew a mean skin graft should the need arise, I am not to be listed amongst the normal “skilled” that they were looking for.
People would ask me, “Lisa, what are you going to do there?”
“And then what?”
Pray. And watch God work.
“Oh, cool. Yeah. Everyone needs prayer. Awesome. Are other people going to be working?”
One brave person asked “Can’t you just pray from home?”
I imagine if that sentence would’ve played out, it would’ve finished with “….so other ‘skilled’ people could go and help?”
The funny thing is -if Jesus had intended for us to spend all of our time praying for the world from the confines of our safe bedroom walls – I don’t think he would have looked at the disciples and said, “Go.”
Go, heal the sick. Go, raise the dead. Go, cast off demons. Go, cleanse the lepors. Go, preach that the kingdom of God is at hand!
The Lord has blessed this team with an abundance of awesome ‘skill.’ We have a couple ridiculously skilled ‘fix it all’ guys that are doing wonders on the hospital compound. We have those with medical backgrounds that are rocking it on surgical rounds and in the operating room.
And in my heart, as I walk out the door each morning, walking to the wards to visit staff and the patients, I hear those voices in my head reminding me that I’m not “doing” anything. That maybe I should get to work. That maybe I COULD have stayed home to make way for those that have “actual jobs.”
And then, I make my way to the walkways around the hospital and I see face after face, smiling back at me, nodding a greeting, reaching out a hand, and even stopping for a quick hug with those that I’ve come to get to know…and I realize, I AM at work. THIS is my work. THIS is my place.
And then I make a quick stop through the doors of the OB/GYN ward in search of that one little girl that’s off to surgery, hoping to give her a hug and a smile and maybe hold her hand for a minute, and suddenly all of the doubt trying to hold onto my heart melts and I know where I am, I’m home.
I left my real home, never realizing that I would find another temporary one.
I may not be doing a job that accomplishes big things, things that will have pictures posted all over the blog alongside the team, but the pictures I have of my time here are so etched in my heart that I may just be able to draw them freehand one day when I need to remember this trip.
The time I followed the work He gave me. Even if many of the immediate results consisted mainly of human connection, shared smiles, tears, and comfort. Even if the only thing I leave behind is a thought in the heart of the nurses and the doctors that they can take the limits off of God and ask BIGGER and bolder prayers, then every second was worth it. I believe in my heart that the impact He’s making from everyone of us on this team will last for years to come – even if the footprint of that work lives in hearts instead of the physical ground of the compound.
Thank you to all of those that are praying for us, and for this hospital. Soddo Christian Hospital is doing a phenomenal work in this country, and people who would never have been given the chance to hear the true gospel are open to it in a way that you’d have to see to believe.
He is definitely here among us.
Signing off for now. It’s time for me to “go.”