I was recently asked in an interview what am I passionate about in my ministry. Interviews are challenging because it makes you think on the spot, and I usually always think of things I would like to say after the fact and as the days have passed I have thought a lot about that question. I know what I said was somewhat along these same lines, but this is what I would have liked to say.I get up every morning and live in PNG because God has called me to serve the hurting in PNG, and I am passionate about the patients who I get to see each day. I am here because they are here. Everyday there are 150-200 patients who are standing outside our hospital waiting to be seen. Some come because they live nearby and we are their hospital, others come because another hospital couldn't or wouldn't help them, still others have heard about our hospital and wanted to come for themselves to see what we can do. Some have traveled for days to get here while others get up while it was still dark to travel here. Many have spent a considerable amount of money to get here believing we will help them. Upon arrival, they all form a line outside waiting, some for hours, until they can be seen first by a nurse and then by a doctor, if necessary.
They come for various reasons - a cough, feeling short of breath, an arm being broken because of domestic violence, a dad bringing her daughter who was raped, a young family with their first child who is having diarrhea, an older women with swelling of her legs, back pain for years, and much more. Each one is loved by God, each one looking for help in some way for many it is physical, but others are hurting spiritually and we are able to help them through prayer and sharing Christ with them.
I love what I do because each day I get the chance to help those who are hurting, to heal through the knowledge, medicine and resources God has given us here, and to give hope to many who need to know more of Christ. I try and give my best each day because there are patients each day waiting to be seen, patients like the little girl I saw this week whose right leg is twice the size of her left due to an infection in her leg after falling 2 wks prior, the little boy who is 16 months and weighs only 8 lbs due to malnutrition and diarrhea, the lady who broke her arm 3 wks ago and has been unable to have surgery or a cast put on her arm after going to other hospitals numerous times, for the 3 yo little boy who has arthritis so bad he can't even turn his neck to look at you and cries because he is in so much pain, but is so cute that your heart cries with him and you want to do everything you can to take his pain away, and for many more.
At the end of each day, there is a sense of victory because you know that many patients were helped, both physically and spiritually, today because Kudjip Nazarene Hospital was open. The sense of victory doesn't mean the task is over, for tomorrow is another day, and patients will be lined up, more hurting will come, and God will use me and everyone at this hospital to touch lives that others aren't.