|Several of medical mission team created this handmade
cross after a clinic in Santa Rosa de Copan.
Hebrews 11:1-3 says, “Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.”
Last Fall, I had the privilege to serve on a medical mission team in Honduras, which performed medical assessments, child ministries, dentistry, prayer, and medications relating to the medical needs of the local Hondurans. The people we treated were very poor and did not have access to church or any medical treatment.
My responsibility with the medical team was to assist in filling prescriptions for the clinics. Since I did not speak Spanish well, I knew that my assignment was one I could handle. In fact, I enjoyed alphabetizing medications, counting pills and organizing pharmacy as well as learning the medical uses for the pharmaceuticals. It wasn’t long until I could read the doctors’ handwriting and assist others with locating medicines. I took the job serious and loved the challenge.
From day one, we were running low on Tylenol, Ibuprofen and vitamins. During one of our clinics, I saw God work in a mighty way. After a few hours in a small school house in Lempre, we ran out of children’s tylenol and could not complete many prescriptions. Some patients were as old as 7 years while others were only months old. I was overwhelmed with compassion for those children and prayed for God to reveal Himself and show His provision to the needs of the people we were serving. I also prayed for faith and for a reminder that God was in control in this mission, not the team. Whatever the reason, I would trust Him.
That evening, one of our team members, Dr. Smith, left early to join a local Honduran doctor for dinner. After he left, the team carried out the usual daily report on the number of patients treated, prescriptions filled, and who received salvation. To our amazing discovery, we were able to provide much more than meet their medical needs–salvation and hope in Jesus Christ! God knew what we were working with and He had a plan.
The following morning, Dr. Smith announced that a generous donation of Tylenol and vitamins was given to us by the Honduran doctor. Now that is what faith can do! God provided! And at the next clinic, we served more women and children than in any clinic during the mission.
Have you ever faced a situation in life where you really didn’t understand why God was allowing it to happen? Let me encourage you that it’s okay. If you don’t understand God’s way of working, you don’t have to. God even said His way of doing things is going to be different that the way we think. You can even ask “why,” like I did in a corner of a school room in Lempre, and try to understand. That’s not lack of faith. We ought to care enough to try, but when it comes down to it, there are going to be times in life when we just won’t be given the answer – and God will be watching for us to say, “Lord, I really don’t understand why You are allowing this or doing this…but I trust You.”
By faith, Noah built an ark. By faith, Moses left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger. By faith Rahab was not killed. Through faith, others conquered kingdoms, shut the mouths of lions, and were made strong.
Ryan Hall, publicly devout Olympian, shares why he chose to be outspoken about his faith as an athlete. “It was easy for me to fell God’s presence when it meant Him taking me to new levels of physical performance, but it took me years to learn to feel God’s presence in my running even when I was struggling or just having an ordinary day. I don’t believe God comes and goes as I once felt He did. I believe that as the Bible says, God is with those who are with Him (Matt 28:20, Deut 31:6, Isaiah 41;10), and this is my message.”
Trusting God when He’s making walls crumble and sending lightning bolts is easy. Trusting God when things are going well, when life is prosperous, when everything is as it should be, that’s easy. What about the other 90% of the time? Times of uncertainty. What about when you are injured during your run, money is tight, the car needs repairs, you’re lonely and afraid? What about those times when God doesn’t feel so close?
Here’s a suggestion. Read about the people who trusted in God even when it was hard to in the book of Hebrews in chapter 11. There are a lot of stories sitting there about times when it was hard to trust God–and He didn’t let them down. These people were admired because they lived out their faith.