Well, today was officially the busiest day so far. Fortunately, our team was beating like a healthy heart and managed to effectively and carefully treat 307 patients. This puts our 3 day patient total *to a whopping 697 people!*
We're so excited to see differences being made in peoples' lives. In our optical clinic, many of the cases we're treating are basic but would have otherwise caused severe loss of vision or blindness if not treated. In pediatrics, we identified four heart murmurs, built relationships with children, and picked up where we left off in other relationships from previous years. With the help of our Guatemalan medical students, our general medicine doctors treated an incredible amount of people in the span of 9 hours.
With all the discussion of health care in the United States, we should never take for granted the ease of which we can be treated for basic health problems, many of which would eventually result in serious issues in the long term. This is true of virtually every one of the 697 patients we've treated this week. The truth of the matter is that we live in a country that is unique in the entirety of the world; this trip is a prime example of the contrast of care that exists in our world. At first glance, the issues treated may not seem like a big deal, but on second thought those issues weren't a big deal because we had easy access to treatment.
Even though our clinic was capable of treating many things, we often found ourselves writing referrals for surgeries or procedures that we simply couldn't have performed in our make-shift office. A major prayer request *is that these referrals, by the grace of God, truly become available to our patients and that God would provide affordable health care options to those who we couldn't fully help.* This tension is very much a microcosm of the tension we live with daily as believers in Christ; we are commanded to strive for the kingdom of God, showing a taste of it wherever we go, yet we cannot fully bring the kingdom to fruition on our own and must rely on Christ to finish the good work that He started.
On our final day of clinic we're expecting our largest turnout. The word of mouth that has been spreading in the community has been overwhelmingly positive as most of our patients today heard about the clinic by word of mouth. Please pray that God bring people to us who have been previously hesitating or unable to come. Pray for wisdom in treatment and wisdom in long term solutions from a short term trip.
Most of all, pray that God's name be honored in all that we say and do; pray that His kingdom come and His will be done. Until tomorrow, good night!
-- Matthew Wilhelm Pastor of Worship Arts/College Ministries Woodlands Church (715)341-0800 (715)216-4972 firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com