On Tuesday morning we woke up early and went our separate ways. As Jeff and Julie headed off to the dental clinic, Morgan to knit with the women, and Ryan to teach at the school I went to the hospital. Restoration Gateway just finished building five separate hospital wards: a surgery ward, women’s ward, men’s ward, obstetrics ward, and a children’s ward. Each ward a different building in a semi-circle. While RG does not currently have the staff to fully operate this hospital they are still treating patients out of the surgery ward. They have four tables set up three of which were equipped with doctors from the States who were there to volunteer, and one Ugandan clinical officer. The medical clinic sees patients from RG as well as people from the nearby towns. Some of the people walk for several hours to get to the clinic. We saw patients with a wide variety of needs and of various ages. The majority of the patients who came in were very ill with malaria (it was like flu season in the States once we saw one patient for malaria they all seemed to have it). We were able to see the patients and give the correct medications to help treat their illnesses.
As we went throughout the day caring for all of the patients physical needs, we also addressed their spiritual needs. Before sending each patient on their way, we asked them if we could pray for them. The people shared their needs and we prayed over them. Some people respectfully sat in silence as we prayed, while others prayed out loud with us thanking God. I was amazed with the gratitude we were shown as we cared for these patients. They never complained about the wait, or even discomfort from any procedure, they simply smiled and thanked us for helping them. While at times I felt inadequate (like my services were not of much help), God reminded me that even in the small things, like putting on a Band-Aid, these people needed someone to be the hands and feet and provide for them what they could not provide for themselves. It was not just about the Band-Aids, the medicine, and the medical care it was about serving the Lord. These people needed to not only be treated physically, but to be reminded or shown for the first time that they are loved and were created by a God who will never fail them.
God not only showed me and reminded me to be His hands and feet while caring for others, He also showed me, through the staff, to take the time to really slow down and see what is right in front of you. In the business of the clinic, it would be easy to do your task and send people on their way. The workers at the clinic took the time to get to know one another and the specific talents with which God gifted each individual. They respect one another and take the time to seek out each other’s opinions and expert help on a situation they don’t seem to know everything about. They helped one another out in order to better serve the people. In taking this extra time and having another pair of eyes to see a situation, each patient was seen with a different view, a different light – seeing them like Jesus would.
Written by Bethany Patton