Thursday, July 1, 2010

Organizing the medicines

The medical clinic is operating daily for these next two weeks as the team from Bayside Church continues to provide the medicines and the medical care needed to minister to the people in this community. Word is getting out about this medical clinic and we are seeing people that are coming not just from the local village area but others have heard about it and are commuting longer distances ie: 2 hours to come to the Svay Pak Medical clinic. Today alone we saw 20 people in the morning session and then the numbers tripled to over 60 in the afternoon. I've taken on the role of 'pharmacist' helping the two medical personnel from the Bayside team as I spent the last couple of days organizing the medical cabinets so that we had all the medicines in the proper sections. It was quite a tedious task sorting through medicines that have been from different countries and labeling what they are to be used for. Some of the instructions are in Vietnamese, others in French and of course others in English. Thankfully my limited French is coming in handy---God does not waste any of the things He gives to us. The main thing is that we all know where the medicines are and what they are to be used for and so its made all of our jobs much easier to be able to determine whether we can treat the patients or not with the medicines we have available.

For the most part we get a lot of elderly people or women with young kids but I was surprised to learn women who were prostitutes also come to get help. Many of them have STDs but are too embarrassed to say so and so we probe a bit. The other day one woman claimed to have a rash around her stomach and when we asked to see the rash, it wasn't exactly around her stomach. It turned out she had some kind of STD. Some of them we give creams and special medications to take and today we gave out a few condoms to one prostitute so that she would use it to prevent the spread of her STD to her customers.

Each day as we see so many coming for medical treatment it is easy to just see the numbers and not see them as individuals. But as I reflect on the gospels, Jesus always looked for the one in the masses. Our role here is to do the same. To reach out to each person and give them the best care and medical advice possible. While we really are only providing basic medical care, the people here are grateful and appreciative that they can get help. They are grateful for what advice we can give them even if we can't help them. Today, one woman came who had an extremely high blood sugar level. Unfortunately we don't give out diabetes medicines and we could only advise her to change her diet and exercise more, yet this simple piece of information seemed to provide hope and reassurance to her. In many ways, the clinic is more than just dispensing medicine, it is about offering hope to the hopeless, it is about loving the forgotten, the broken and the marginalized, it is about seeing Jesus in the least of these and it is simply about being His hands, voice and feet by providing a loving touch and offering words of encouragement.

In all these different ministry activities, Jesus is reminding me that there is more that is going on besides the ministry that we are offering. Indeed, He is working in the hidden places---in the hearts and minds and planting His special touch in each person that walks through the doors of The Sanctuary, whether it be the kids who are attending the summer school or kids club, whether it be the people who come to the medical clinic, whether it be in us who are serving in the Sanctuary---in each one of us---young and old, He is building His kingdom, He is transforming our hearts, touching our lives and ministering to us in ways that we may not even be fully aware of as yet, but in His timing He will reveal the treasures He has deposited.

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