The first Sunday back at church after a project trip is always quite interesting for us – lots of people are curious about the time we’ve been away. The standard question is “how was it?” – to which it’s easy to answer “fabulous!” but it’s much harder to know where to go from there. I’ve come back with two weeks worth of adventures, 8 gigs worth of photos, and enough memories to last a lifetime. I’ve built relationships – with team members, with other missionaries, even a few with patients in the hospital through language and cultural barriers. And honestly, I’m still working through it all.
But today, one very wise lady didn’t ask me “how did it go?” Instead, she asked “what did God teach you this time?” It’s a much harder and a much easier question rolled into one. It’s what I’ve been working on distilling ever since we left Galmi.
What did God teach me? He taught me that there’s a role for everyone in missions. We expected to see medical missionaries at Galmi – the doctors, the pharmacists and the like. But we also met the accountant, the woman who makes the guesthouse feel like home, the construction manager, the teacher, the administrator . . . they all were playing their role in Galmi’s mission, allowing the hospital to touch hearts by providing physical care.
He also taught me about the power of persistance. Galmi Hospital has been in this very Muslim area for 65 years or so. Many early missionaries paid a high price to come and serve – and even today, there is sacrifice needed for those who come. But God is honouring the work that is being done here, and it’s not just about healing bodies – it’s about changing lives.
There’s more . . . but that’s a start. Don’t be afraid to keep asking. As I wake up early in the morning (yes, there’s still jet lag), the faces and the stories of those I met drift through my mind. I think about what their life is like there and what my life is like here. I rationalize. I pray. And I keep looking for those insights as I prepare to share about my fabulous trip.