Recently, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that my doctor was going on a medical mission trip to Cambodia. Instead of going on his annual family spring break trip, he and his 20-year-old daughter were traveling to a camp to provide basic medical services to displaced Vietnamese and Hmong refugees. He told me that this trip was a long time coming for him. When a nurse at the hospital approached him, he said a resounding “Yes!” I asked the dates of the trip (he was leaving in just two days) and told him I would pray for him and the other participants.
Right now, an OB/GYN doctor from our congregation is in Bangladesh where she performs C-sections, helps with pregnancies, serves as the doctor-in-charge and trains nurses in a rural clinic. She usually goes for a month, once every year or two. She was commissioned and had hands laid on her as our congregation promised to pray for her in this ministry.
So, what does it mean to pray for someone on a mission to serve the under-served, the vulnerable, the poor, the weary, the discouraged, and the sick? thank God for those who are willing to serve. I pray that their basic medical care will be a source of comfort and healing to the many people who come into contact with them. I pray that God’s abundant love will be shared as they treat each person as if God is present before them. I pray that they are transformed by these experiences. And, I pray that they will come home safely, filled with God’s spirit so they MUST tell their stories.
How do you support others or yourself in ministries to those in need?
Diane Frederick lives in Oak Park Heights, Minn. and is serving a second term on the churchwide executive board.
The mother and child seen here were patients at Curran Hospital,
a ministry of the Lutheran Church in Liberia. Women of the ELCA supports
Curran Hospital through an endowment that is nearly a century old.