As I sit here on the plane, I wonder how one sums up a journey like this- the places we’ve seen, the quiet faces of the people we helped, and the joy of serving others with the incredible team we have. As I reflect on all of this, three words come to mind: Faith, Hope, and Love. Yes just three little words that each mean so much, yet reflect our story and sum up our mission here in Chiapas.
FAITH, HOPE and LOVE
F is for the faith we have that our Father in heaven will guide us on every step of this mission, and as Susan frequently says: "Lord put the people in front of us that you want us to serve today." F is for the Faith the people of Chiapas have is us as a health care team. F is for the Faces of the people we served-so quiet, so deep in thought. F is for our generous Families we left behind so that we may serve the people of Chiapas.
A is for the Anticipation we felt as we began this journey eight days ago-some us knew a few people on the team, some of us strangers as we began, but all of us now friends for life! A is for Answering Gods call to serve the poor, the forgotten, and the people here with little or no access to health care and medicines. A is for the Appreciation we feel for having the opportunity to participate in this MDP mission and for the Appreciation we have for each of the different talents that make us a team!
I is for the Indigenous people-especially the children who did not choose to be born into poverty. I is for the Independent spirit and pride we see in some of the people we served. I is for our Intake team members: Luke who was our patient’s first contact at the clinic as he compassionately checked in our patients and our nurses Jodi and Susan who with tender care took their vital signs and did other nursing duties. I is for the Interpreters Lia, Thalia and Curtis who worked proficiently interpreting long hours at the clinic and during our off hours to help those of us with little or no Spanish skills.
Tis for the Trust we have in each member of this team and for the Trust the people of Chiapas have in these strange people who have come to help them: the MDP medical team. T is for Traveling long distances in hopes of seeing a doctor from the United States. T is for the Tears we shed after hearing about a patients suffering or while listening to devotion read during our morning reflections. T is for our outstanding Team leaders Susan and Lia who worked so hard prior to our trip and during our trip to insure everything was ready for the team prior to our arrival and who lovingly cared for the team to be sure things went smoothly while we were there.
H is for Healing the sick and the under privileged. H is for the Hope we have that we as a team may relieve their suffering from many of the treatable illness we’ve seen. H is for the Humor of a good team that reminds us all that sometimes laughter is the best medicine. H is for the Hands God gave us to carry out his work. H is for the Hugs of appreciation from the Chiapas people as they leave the clinic and the Hugs of a fellow team member when we are overcome with emotions.
O is for the Oppression so visible on the faces of many of the people we served. O is for the optimism of a MDP team ready to serve.
P is for the People in the villages who so desperately need our help and support. P is for the Patience of the people who wait in long lines out in the sun hoping we can help them. P is for the Pride in a mother’s eyes as we compliment her on her beautiful children. P is for our hard working team Pharmacists Karen, Jake and Helen who so efficiently help organize and set up the medications. P is for the Providers: Dr. Bob, Dr. Aaron and Nancy FNP who with compassion and dignity provided the direct intimate medical care to the many patients seen at clinic and who went out of their way to make house calls.
E is for the Eagerness of our team to serve Gods people. E is for the Enthusiasm of this team to work hard. E is for the Exhaustion we sometimes feel after a long day of clinic, though no one complains, for we see how far they people of Chiapas have traveled to see us, how long they wait in line to see us and how hard they work daily just to survive. So no matter how exhausted we are, we know we can still work a little longer.
L is for the Love of the work we do daily here. L is for the Long lines of people patiently waiting our arrival to clinic, and awaiting their turn to see a doctor. L is for the Laughter of the children playing with members of our team while their parents wait in line.
O is for the Others back home who are praying for our team. O is for the Others back home who so generously financially support our team and the work we do. O is for the Others back home-spouses, children and co-workers who make many sacrifices so that each member of the team could be here these past 8 days.
V is for Vulnerability we sometimes feel in a new surrounding or a new country. V is for how Vulnerable the people we serve must feel as strangers assess and treat their health problems. V is for the Values of each member of this team that unites us together as one.
E is for the Energy we have to keep going no matter how fatigued we are or overwhelmed we are by the poverty and the health problems we see. E is for the Enthusiasm of each member of this team, all eager to work and eager to serve and care for the people of Chiapas. And now today, as we travel home, E is for the Eagerness we have to return to our families and loved ones after a very successful medical mission in Chiapas!!!
Yes, I think those three little words: Faith, Hope and Love, pretty well sum it up and tell our story of our eight days in Chiapas. New friendships formed, old friendships strengthened, and a feeling of satisfaction that we did our very best. Our lives have been changed… new memories made… and a sense of satisfaction that we were able to touch many lives in several remote villages during our short stay in Chiapas. Peace to all of our team! And thanks to all who were supporting our team, praying for us and reading our daily blogs!
- Nancy Linder