I needed an interpreter to speak to my patients. I always looked my patients directly in the eyes when I spoke with them, communicating as much through my eyes and body language as I could; then my interpreter would tell them exactly what I said. In turn, I’d listen as my patients spoke back to me, absorbing as much as I could through their gaze, facial expressions, and hand gestures, and then get the rest of the story back from the interpreter.
On my first mission trip to the mountains of Honduras, our bus and truck were loaded up with a generator, refrigerator, stove, and food. We were able to use a school as our medical office, since the children weren’t there at that time of year. We slept on cots and rearranged the desks and chairs in the classroom to create a makeshift office. There wasn’t much privacy, but we did the best we could. We try to do this every year, although we were unfortunately interrupted by Covid.
Every day, patients would come in one after another, all day long. We didn’t leave the office until the last person had been seen. Often, whole families would come together for the day, receiving medical care and then going out to get rice and beans with vouchers, or to look through the donated clothes and shoes we had brought for them. The work was exhausting but so rewarding! With each patient, I tried to transfer the love of our Heavenly Father to them by giving them the care they needed.
I had to intentionally entrust each person I cared for into the hands of God. I often didn’t know if they would be able to have a follow-up appointment with another doctor after we left, or if they had clean water to wash and dress wounds that I had cared for. I prayed for my patients for months after we left Honduras, and ultimately put my trust in God to care for His children. I am so blessed to be able to pour out some of the love that God has for me into the hearts of others.
We are called to be the hands and feet of Jesus in this world, and I hope to continue doing that for as many people as I can!