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Matters of the Heart Posted 8.28.2015

The 2015 Medical Mission is history. After eight clinics, what encourages me most is discovering something new with each journey to Bombo. This year was no different. I think what I am trying to learn, or should I say, what God is trying to teach me, is that what really matters is not medical.

 

The most important criteria for success is not if we saw more patients than last year, but what God is accomplishing in the lives of people this year. That means in the lives of the American team which travels to Bombo and the lives of the people of Bombo who serve and the lives of the patients we treat over six days in Uganda. What is most important is — are we going to listen to God as we serve? Are we going to open our eyes to Him in the midst of long and exhausting days? That is my challenge, and one at which I’m not very successful.

 

A couple of highlights from this last day of clinic. A burn patient returned from Tuesday for a fresh wound dressing change. The proper dressings had been used on Tuesday, so Judy didn’t have to peel them off the raw flesh. He was full of smiles (most of the time) today. I struck up a conversation with his travelling buddy today. I asked if he were family. “No.” What? Really? No, they were just friends.

 

Let me explain, the patient has two arms in virtual casts. He cannot move. I asked as Dr. Christine was giving him some medication to ease the pain of what was about to happen. And he couldn’t drink a thing without help. I was told he had no family. Neither of them did (I think). But the two had been friends since age 8 (they are now 28) and care for each other.

 

The care required for this young man is burdensome. They came from over a couple of hours away (twice) to get some help at the clinic. They got the best help around, by the way. And they just lived life together — one friend helping the other. And the other was basically helpless.

 

It was a moving moment. A moment that finally broke through to this crusty heart that had seen so much suffering already this week. What a friend. What love. To encourage that bond and to do something to help them both cope with the struggles they faced made the journey worth it all.

 

You see, they left with some hope. They left with the hint of a smile on each of their faces. The road ahead is going to be long and painful. But it is not what happens medically that is always the most important. It is the heart. My heart was touched. Dr. Christine’s heart was touched (I got her to cry for a change). And these two friends walked away with a lighter burden because we now share it together.

 

Following Jesus is not about healthy. It is about the heart.


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