When we go on medical missions trips, we may encounter people who do not yet have a personal experience of knowing that all things are possible with God. We might meet someone who has lost loved ones after praying for a long time, for example. They may still be grieving. Or we might meet someone who has never heard much–if anything–about Jesus. There may be a fear that we will not pray with them if they do not offer a gift. We may need to reassure them that we are there for them, it’s on our hearts to pray, we appreciate and value them, and so we don’t need them to give a gift. This may be refreshingly different from what they have expected if they do not hold a similar spiritual belief or if they visit various types of healers before coming to see health care professionals.
Most times, we are likely to meet people who–without fear–welcome prayer, hunger for knowledge, and thirst for Jesus. But there can be times we might meet someone who does not know of Him or has some fears. They might believe that a certain disease is too difficult to take care of or that they won’t know what to do when we leave. While we can’t promise them anything specific about their unique situation, we know we go with God. We can pray they would have a personal experience that all things are possible with God. That they would have healing and access to the right resources at the right times, that those who help them in the coming days will have the guidance of Holy Spirit.
We Go With God
This March, there are multiple world health holidays: World Cancer Day, World Kidney Day, and World Tuberculosis Day. These are three big diseases that elicit strong emotions even in countries where there is a high level of access to medical care. All three are among the top ten global leading causes of mortality. When someone receives a diagnosis of cancer, kidney disease, or tuberculosis, fear may be the first response for many, even if they have access to extended paid or unpaid medical leave or great medical insurance. Not everyone has a personal experience with God or faith, but they do have lots of access to information about a diagnosis. This is good, but there are often so many health care providers and types of treatment to choose from, it can be overwhelming to decide how to go about it at first.
This is not the case in other countries–especially those where there are less doctors or health care facilities per capita. Treatments or medicines that cost less there can ultimately be more expensive or difficult to access. If an ill person lives in a remote place in South Africa or Philippines, for example, they have to arrange transportation or plan a long, arduous walk. Symptoms may become harder to manage on the trip. Even in non-remote regions, low-to-middle income patients may miss time from work and be unable to afford continuing their medicines. Access may be restricted for other reasons. In much of South Africa, for example, dialysis treatment is government-funded, and might not be available to everyone. Also some clinics or hospitals do not permit a person to be evaluated or treated without complete payment. This can be a serious deterrent to seeking help that is needed.
We Can Pray With Belief and Partner With God
When we go on a medical missions trip to underserved regions of the world, we typically will be providing basic health care. But we go with God, and we might be in a position to point someone toward further treatment. We might be able to educate them about an aspect of their health care which will breathe new life into their healing process. Maybe they can learn how a certain medicine can be kept cool in a way that is easy for their living situation. Maybe we can find out if there are others sick in their home, or if there is someone who can learn how to wrap bandages, apply clean, cool compresses or help with household tasks.
When we see the afflicted, we can ask good questions and listen. Empathize and offer helpful suggestions. Pray with them and privately on our own. We can find answers for them from others who are working with us. No matter what, let’s bring with us the goodness that comes with God, the trust that comes with knowing Him and seeing what He has done, the hope that is inextinguishable for those who have accepted Christ. For “the thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy.” But Jesus has come “that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10) There is nothing that is impossible with God! We can pray with belief that each person’s needs will be met.
Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God. For all things are possible with God.” (Mark 10:27)
Going With Us to Burundi?
The deadline to begin the registration process for our Burundi opportunity is April 5. If you are already familiar with the travel requirements, then your passport is probably ready. You are likely planning some details related to work. You are doing what you can to prepare and spending more personal time with God. There is only one month left to register for this trip. Feel free to reach out to us with any questions you may have. To go with us to Burundi, go to the Volunteer page on our website. You are also able to help fund someone else’s trip if you would like to do so at this time.
Once you decide you want to learn more and you go through the process of signing up and preparing to go, you will be so excited and joyful about the work you may do, that you wish the first day would arrive. Multiple things in life may compete for your focus till then. We would like to share three ways to focus on things of good report that will help keep the joy and excitement fresh while we wait.
Whatever is True, Whatever is Noble
Philippians 4:8 is one of the most encouraging Bible verses. It contains so much simple wisdom we can continue following every day.
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things.” Philippians 4:8 (NIV)
When we consider what we do as medical missions volunteers through the perspective of “whatever is true, whatever is noble”, we find we are able to think upon what God is doing already that we don’t know that is of good report. He has always done amazing things for us and with us. We can turn our focus to the opportunities around us to do good. Also, we can be thankful for the many ways we will get to serve again as we hope to one day.
Whatever is Pure, Whatever is Lovely
Medical professionals and volunteers are not immune to having a bad day. Everyone experiences moments of being annoyed or tired, for example, especially when multiple things simultaneously go differently than planned.
Before you are under such pressure is a great time to think about what strategies you might employ. Think of it like a tool in your self-care kit. One way to do this is that when ugly thoughts enter your mind, immediately evict them with opposing thoughts of what is pure and what is lovely.
For example, if you are working and suddenly find yourself concerned about how long it is taking to receive your passport in the mail, think about how wonderful it will be to present your new passport to the ticket agent one day. Think of the smiling face of a patient who has just received a good report. Consider the people in a community washing their hands in clean new water. There is so much good news to take note of each day!
Whatever is Admirable
The new year has begun, and with it come new opportunities to grow and use your gifts to spread the good news of Jesus and help provide basic health care in places where people are unable to access it. You can do this at home or where you work while you wait to go on a medical missions trip. All around you are valuable ways to make a difference. You can partner with someone who is already in another country, donate to them, help them brainstorm, or partner with people who are doing this too. You can donate to nearby groups or causes, volunteer to help someone where you are, start a blog, or do many things!
We believe every person has so much valuable experience to share, and we are thankful if you are interested in volunteering with us. We’ve seen many good things happen! Also, we are thankful for you however you join our endeavors to bring health, hope, and healing to parts of the world where people are unable to obtain basic medical care. While some difficult things such as COVID-19 are going on in the world today, there are also many good things going on in the world today too! It’s a big decision at times to focus on things of good report, but if you choose it, it’s also truly amazing! It will positively impact your life and the lives of others forever.
This year might look nothing like you planned. It may be tempting to get used to it or grumble about what has changed. But things aren’t going to stay this way forever. There is so much to look forward to! So as this year comes to a close, let’s look at three ways to continually stir up your faith.
Encourage Yourself in God’s Word
We can receive encouragement every day by hearing God’s word. (Romans 10:17) Not just during this season or the next–but every day. In difficult seasons or good, by making a habit of spending time in God’s word, we prepare ourselves mentally and emotionally. It can be a challenge to want to hear what is in the Bible or in prayer at times, but when we are disciplined, then we do this. We know God loves us and always has the best in mind, and we love God too…and want the best to be on our minds as well!
Discipline helps us form and maintain the habit of every day spending time in God’s word and becoming trained in it. It may not always be our first instinct to get ready for the day and then sit quietly with God, or to make that time later in the day. But if we do, we are thankful to notice God is still the best coach and mentor! He brings peace to every situation and certainly encourages us.
Spending Time in God’s Presence
Faith is so often stirred by spending regular time in prayer, praise, thanksgiving, and quiet time with God. If you have gotten away from this, you can go right back to it and be strengthened once more. Romans 12:12 says to “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.” When we make the effort to do this, it helps us be consistent in how we hope and where we place our faith.
Discouraging news can be distracting, but we have a certain hope in Christ that encourages us. Time spent worshipping God and sitting in his presence changes things. You will notice there is so much to praise him and celebrate. He truly is good and he is for you!
Remembering God’s Goodness
God is bringing us through this season and any other season to come. It’s just like before! He’s answered our prayers before. We each have a history with him that shows us he is faithful. There are people reading this right now who have prayed about a thing and received the answer then, soon, or years later. God listened and did not forget. Not only that, but he over-delivers. So you can stir up your faith by recalling his goodness too.
All Things Work Together for Our Good
It can be frustrating to wait. Waiting in line, waiting for an answer, waiting for the Internet to speed up. We have become so used to being able to order something with a few clicks on a website, and it’s here in a couple of days. But we know we can wait with a thankful heart. God knows what work needs to be done, and he knows just how to get all the pieces to come together in a wonderful way. Staying focused on God and his goodness might not always decrease the wait, but it will help you feel and remember how close he is to you, how good he is, and stir up your faith.
Have you been looking for a way to stay involved with medical missions trips this year? Perhaps you could consider becoming one of our volunteers, a monthly supporter through donations, or sign up to go on a medical missions trip with us! Go to our website, Mission Partners for Christ, to learn more about how to volunteer or join us. Looking forward to seeing you soon!
It is easy to become used to dealing with whatever comes up during the moment. What will I need to do tomorrow to make next week more productive? What actions do I need to take to be ready for this big event several months ahead? Inwardly we know God has it all worked out though. We can rest like one who sleeps in the wind because the work is already done. Everything that is going on in the world today has already been envisioned and lovingly provided for by God. Even that thing–yes! We have found it can help to focus on scripture or words that are inspired by God when we pray or make plans.
We believe that life is filled with blessings and opportunities to both be blessed and a blessing to others. Our upcoming trip to Benin is one possible way, and we know it’s on a lot of hearts. With that in mind, we gathered three scriptures to pray from and keep close to you this summer as you move toward autumn and all that it requires.
Scripture: Galatians 6:9
“Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
These types of scriptures encourage us that we are not at the end of a thing while we go through it. God hears your prayers. He sees your tears and senses your concerns. You are not alone right now or when you go on your upcoming mission trip. Right now is an excellent time to press in and see that the Lord is so good! As we continue faithfully committed to the work at hand, we are assured that God is with us, and all will work out in a way we could not have imagined. Missions work is hard work, and it is worth it!
Scripture: Romans 10:13-15
“For ‘everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.’ How then will they call on him in whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent? As it is written, ‘How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the good news!’”
God has always intended for us to be missions-minded in one way or another, even before the fall of Adam and Eve. The way we do this now since that fall did happen, is through all the opportunities we create so we can live in a way that others see God’s love at work. We share the gospel in Treasures, on social media. Whenever we share a testimonial, scriptures, or get into a conversation that invites this encouragement. We share it when we live out our faith in giving of our time, resources, energy, and prayers. Our hands, feet, and mouths are made for this. Hearts and minds can be full of joy and hope as we look forward to all the ways we will be a part of the blessings others receive all over the world as we serve and love with our lives.
Scripture: Joshua 1:9
“Haven’t I commanded you: be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.”
We can be sure of our heavenly Father lighting the way at all times. He cares about what is going on globally. The intricate details of each personal need, hope, or dream matter to Him. He knows the best way to accomplish every goal. He knows what it will take for every person to be strengthened, encouraged, and active in the service into which they are called. We can be courageous and take action even when we are unsure of what to expect because we know God is God. He is with us and for us wherever we go.
Are you considering going on a mission’s trip?
If you’re new to praying from scriptures, one way to do it is to change some of the words into a prayer. For example, if you pray from Galatians 6:9, you could reflect on the scripture and pray how you usually pray. You could say “I will not grow weary in doing good. When the time is right, I will reap a harvest if I do not give up!”
If you’ve been thinking about joining a medical missions team, check out information on our upcoming medical mission trip to Benin. If you’re interested in learning more about our current upcoming 2021 destinations, have a look here. Do you need some questions answered before you say yes? We’d love to answer your questions about joining our team. Click here to submit your question via our contact page. We look forward to hearing from you!
Have you registered to go on your first medical mission’s trip or do you plan to do that in the future? Group leaders are supportive and helpful when it comes to information on how to prepare yourself for a trip, and there is no lack of information for anyone who is earnest in making the most of their moments of service, prayer, and encouragement away from home. You can find out a lot on this website and on the Mission Partners for Christ Facebook page as well!
To help you get ready in different ways you might not have considered yet, we have put together this list of three things you can do this summer to prepare for going on a medical mission’s trip.
Listen to the mission’s teams who share their testimonies in church
The teams who come to visit your churches are one inspiring source of information, and so are others within your church or community who have gone on any type of mission’s trip. This may be how many of us first came in contact with the idea of medical mission’s trips. While no trip is exactly the same as another, this one thing can be an encouragement and well of wisdom. Listen to the missionaries or team members sharing their presentations or testimonies. Ask good questions. Consider staying in contact with some of the out-of-town missionaries who encourage this–by writing letters, sending emails, or through their preferred mode of communication.
You might be surprised to find there are all sorts of people who go on mission’s trips. Many are not in full-time ministry, but also are employed in other professions such as doctors, nurses, medical technicians, teachers–or they are students or families who take time off to serve on mission’s trips. You can learn so much by connecting with other like-minded people.
Watch medical care and mission’s trip documentaries
Medical care documentaries are often easier to find than mission’s trip documentaries. One is usually available online and the other tends to be shared in churches or at small group gatherings. Both are on Netflix and Amazon Prime. These movies may not provide a full picture of what is going on, but will help you to understand issues and history involved with medical care and missions.
Cover yourself and all the people going on a trip in prayer
Your mission team group may have specific prayers you share with one another from a booklet or on a website or group leader emails, but you can pray in addition to this. You could pray for the people where you are going who will be served, the people in every port of entry and all things related to transportation and shipping, the medical team and medical supplies, any medical teams you will be working with, and more. You could pray to make new lasting friendships, learn new skills, and to serve in the best ways possible for you personally to serve.
Cover your life in prayer as well as the lives of those close to you. We know sometimes when something big is going on to bring glory to God’s name, if the enemy of our faith can’t wear you down or wear out, he may try to wear down or wear out those around you. Practice good self care and be in continual prayer. Want more specific prayer ideas? We once shared a list of seven prayers to pray before going on a mission’s trip that would be good to pray at this time.
Share your comments with us
These are just three things to help you prepare for your first medical mission’s trip. Can you think of anything else? Head over to the Mission Partners for Christ Facebook page share your thoughts and experiences with us. Is there any way you would like us to pray for you? Share that too! We love to hear from you!
During this unique time in world history, now more than ever, we must practice loving self-care and remember that God not only loves us but also cares for us on a personal level. It’s so easy to think about all the things we need–especially when preparing for a mission trip. God already knows our needs, though, so we don’t have to worry or be anxious at all.
We want to share with you five scriptures to meditate upon as we navigate this new season and way of living. As you read each one, consider how it may apply to your specific circumstances. Also, reflect upon the needs met through the hands, feet, and hearts of courageous medical mission trip volunteers.
PHILIPPIANS 4:6: Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
God hears your prayers. You are not alone right now or when you go on your upcoming mission trip.
Someone far away may also be praying earnestly–thanking God in advance–for precisely what you are called to give or how you plan to serve.
A part of loving self-care is to continually pray.
PSALM 16:8: I have set the Lord always before me; because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
You can trust God with everything and through all things.
When we always put God first, He is the first to come to mind during a critical moment of decision or action.
NAHUM 1:7: The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble; he knows those who take refuge in him.
A good, good heavenly Father loves us deeply. We can humbly submit to God knowing He not only takes care of us and is concerned with what is on our hearts and minds, what weighs down or lights up our spirit, but also that He does so in love.
Seasons may change, but God is always the same. Confidence can be our response because of Who is responding to us now and forever.
MATTHEW 10:30-31: But even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not, therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.
When many states and businesses are closed or providing limited services, we all must stand 6 feet apart or more, wear face masks, and exercise sensible medical precautions, it may sometimes feel as though things are difficult or hindering our work. But as medical missions volunteers, we may often have encountered these things before to a degree in other nations where we have served. Another level of care and skill is involved in our important work. No task is too small for God to cover it and all things involved with it.
ISAIAH 41:10: Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
We have God’s promise of strength when we are weary. He will help and sustain us in every situation we face. We can move forward in expectation, knowing that our work is blessed and protected.
Wherever we go, whatever we face, we go with God’s great love and care. We may need to adapt in every season and practice good self-care too, but God is with us. He’s on our side, and we can smile as we stand firm in unwavering faith and belief–now and in the future.