Posted by Lori Couch on April 24, 2017
It was my first mission trip and now I was ready for the first day of our work in Collique, Peru, at the OSA House. But I hesitated as I stepped out of my hotel room that first day. What was I doing here? What good could I possibly bring to the people we were to serve that day? After all, I could not speak or understand Spanish. And while my task of being an assistant in the medical clinic seemed exciting, suddenly it now seemed too overwhelming since I had absolutely no medical training. How could I be of any use on this mission trip?
Oh, how I wanted to be a useful servant. But how could I put that into action here? I didn’t know! A few minutes earlier, my morning devotion reminded me of the song that was now stuck in my head: “You have called me higher, You have called me deeper, so I’ll go where You will lead me Lord.” Okay Lord, I do not know what today looks like or what I’m getting into, but I trust that you will honor the fact that I want to serve. I want to be your hands and feet. In your strength, I will go.
The days at the clinic went by so quickly. I thoroughly enjoyed working as a scheduling assistant for Dr. Ray Verm. Dr. Ray had made this trip many times before. The people loved him and looked forward to getting to see him. I watched Dr. Ray intently each day. I was amazed at his compassion for these people. I watched as he listened to the patients explain, in Spanish, of their ailments. I watched him as he gave them hugs and placed his hands around their faces to speak words of encouragement to them. He would encourage them in their faith. Though I didn’t understand a single word that was spoken, I witnessed the hope that was instilled in each patient. I watched patients leave the clinic knowing that they had been heard, cared for, and given a new vision of hope. I pray that they also saw the love of Christ at work.
We had come to Peru to bless others in practical ways. But I came away with the blessing and challenge to see with the heart of Christ and to love like Jesus. Patients came to us with dirty, cracked, and calloused feet. Daily they walked dirt covered roads wearing sandals and flip-flops. I thought about what the days of Jesus must have been like. He walked dirty paths. He and his followers wore sandals and had dirty feet. But Jesus touched them. He placed his hands on their faces, he gave them hugs, and he listened to them. In John chapter 13, after He had washed the disciples’ feet, Jesus said “I have set you an example…Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them.” So, as his follower, I will be blessed…not if I KNOW these things, but blessed if I DO these things. I can say that I know bible stories. I know scriptures. But the blessing comes in the doing. So, I have been called. Called to do as Jesus taught me to do and to serve as He served.
So, what does this look like? How can I be a useful servant? I pray that my eyes are open to see what needs to be done, and I pray that I DO it. To be like Christ, to give encouragement, and to offer hope. And ultimately, I pray that Christ receives all the glory and praise. Praise from those willing to serve and praise from those whom we serve.