PHILIPPIANS 2: 1-2
"IF YOU HAVE ANY ENCOURAGEMENT FROM BEING UNITED WITH CHRIST, IF ANY COMFORT FROM HIS LOVE, IF ANY FELLOWSHIP WITH HIS SPIRIT, IF ANY TENDERNESS AND COMPASSION, THEN MAKE MY JOY COMPLETE BY BEING LIKE-MINDED HAVING THE SAME LOVE, BEING ONE IN SPIRIT AND PURPOSE."
As I sat in quiet time with the Lord after a productive and blessed day at the hospital, He gave me the above reading. He spoke to me through it. That as a team, we have come together, rallied together, and have become servants united in Him.
We came for a purpose with goals and expectations. For us, physical therapists, Malia, Maryann, and myself, we had planned to make a physical therapy clinic, sort out equipment, treat patients, and train the staff basic physical therapy techniques in order to continue the service after we leave. The first day we had no time to do anything but treat patients. But in doing that we were able to begin teaching our interpreter, basic neck and back exercises. At the end of the day, he was teaching them to patients under our supervision. Little did we know we were on our way to reaching two of our goals.
The second day was not as busy. Maryann began teaching our interpreter how to measure crutches, walkers, and canes, and when to give them to a patient... and today? He was able to learn all that we had planned for him to learn, the use of assistive devices, the use of instant cold packs, therapeutic exercises, and how to teach them to patients. Thanks to Maryann! The physical therapy clinic was also established as one of the examination rooms. We also sorted out what physical therapy equipment they had available. Praise God!
On the other side, Grace and Joyce worked together with other Haitian doctors, treating patients and admitting them whenever necessary. They referred patients they thought were good candidates for physical therapy to us. We in turn worked with them, requesting their input and expertise when our patients required it. I remember a woman who came to us for low back pain, but was found to have an abdominal mass. Grace was called in and immediately the patient was referred to do more diagnostic tests. Thank God!
We also could not function in the clinic without our triage staff - Crystal, Steven, Ashley, Malia, the Haitian interpreters, and the nurses. They screened the patients, taking their medical histories, their vitals, and their complaints. Then sent them off to Grace, Joyce, or to physical therapy.
When there was actually some down time, we worked to organize the medical records room. "Filin' for Jesus!" Ashley had labeled the job. We were part of history, according to the Haitian doctors. The hospital would be the first to have a medical records room that was organized with that particular system.
We were also able to play and connect with the orphans from the orphanage not associated with the hospital, but was on the same grounds. A pediatric clinic for the orphans was started today. Thanks to Joyce's vision. They were given medical record charts, and physical check-ups. We worked together in unison - Ashley and I making new charts; Crystal, Steven, Maryann, and Malia, doing triage, measuring heights and weights; Joyce and Grace doing the check-ups; all together with the Haitian interpreters. It seemed like chaos, with thirty-six children all over the clinic excited about what was happening. We also joined in in the excitement, taking pictures, playing with them, and joking around. It was clear we were all having fun.
We also came together in tenderness and compassion when we saw an acute stroke patient leaving the hospital, being carried on the shoulders of her two daughters, because she could not afford to pay to be admitted. We all decided, in faith, that we would pay for her stay. We did not know if we were going to be able to do it, but, as always, God was gracious. We collected more than what was billed for the patient's stay from among ourselves. We planned to use the extra money to bless another patient, a man with a very infected leg wound, with his medical care. All praise and honor goes to the Lord!
All in all, even sitting around the dinner table tonight, watching us talk, laugh, eat, and drink together, I could not help but think about us being "encouraged" and "comforted" by Christ's love, being in "fellowship" with His Holy Spirit, being filled with "tenderness and compassion" for the interests of others, and being "like-minded" with the same love, "one in spirit and purpose."
Thank You, Jesus, for Your faithfulness and glory, for bringing us all together, not just the team from Park Street Church, but all the Haitians who have joined with us to do Your work "united in Christ."