We took our health care team to a poor and remote area on a neighboring island. It was our third visit to this area. On our first day we went up to the main village area and greeted the village leader to let him know that we were back and asked his permission if we could visit his village and the surrounding area. He was delighted to see us as he was one of our patients on our first trip there when he had suffered from a sudden and severe knife wound on his leg. So, he remembered us well!
He told us that we were more than welcome to visit any of the homes and communities in the surrounding area, he said that he would make sure that the other leaders knew that we had already been welcomed in. The next morning, there was an announcement from the loudspeaker of the mosque announcing that our health care team had arrived, and that we had already been given permission to visit all the nearby communities so please welcome the team when they come to your place. It was wonderful to see the doors open so quickly to the whole area in a place that’s usually suspicious of strangers!
We made many great connections during this trip. Even though we saw 226 patients during our time there, we felt that our testimony wasn’t about how many people we saw, but rather about how deep we were able to connect with so many of them. We were invited into homes and families, invited for meals, given not just 1 or 2 mangos as a thank you but given a whole bag of 15 mangos! We also felt that as evidence of their trust, some patients needing help would come looking for us at the home where we were staying. And through all this we had real opportunities to share and pray for some specific people.