Monday was one of those days. Jason and Shoshana left early that day to go and take care of work permit stuff in Chiang Mai. That left Kerry and I without a translator for the clinic, but we were not that worried, since after all, we might not get any patients other than the regular ones, and we don’t have to be able to talk to them. (It is nice when we can though!)
But, Monday decided to be a bit different than we had anticipated. One patient after another came. We would guess at what they were trying to tell us, using our limited Karen knowledge, and lots of sign language. The little girls were trying to help us as much as they could, but their Karen knowledge is lacking also…at least when it comes to medical terminology. So we would talk over our ideas of what might be wrong with them with the limited knowledge we were able to get, and then come up with a treatment that might help them, and not do any harm if we happened to get our diagnosis wrong!
We had three or four patients in the clinic, all in different phases of treatment, when a young lady walked into the clinic. She came right to me, asking, “Remember me?” Well, I thought that she looked a little familiar, but I could not place her at all. She then reminded me…in English…that I had been her English teacher for a few short weeks several years ago. She sat down as if she intended to stay, and visited, and listened in to our conversation as to what this or that patient might need. Then, she started translating for us! I felt like God sent an angel right when she was needed the most. For the rest of the time that Jason and Shoshana were gone, I had a translator for when it was really needed. Isn’t it amazing how God takes care of us?
Each day we have been ministering to the needs of others. Both Kerry and I feel totally inadequate for what we are attempting to do, and yet God keeps giving us ideas for treatments, and HE does the healing.
A man came in to the clinic with tennis elbow. His arm hurt so bad that he could hardly use it at all, and he was in a lot of pain. I talked to him about resting it, knowing the whole time I talked that it was a stupid, absolutely impossible thing for him to do. This time of year, everyone is cutting rice fields so that they can burn them and get them ready to plant when rainy season starts. If this man were to rest, his family would not eat this next year.
Then suddenly, I thought of something that my Dad had told me to do for my tennis elbow. So, I explained to Kerry what to do…she argued with me a little because she did not know how to do it, and what if she did it wrong? But she did end up trying for a few minutes and then gave up. So we iced his arm, gave him some massage oil, and put his wrist in a splint so that he could still try to cut his rice field, and sent him on his way, both of us feeling terrible since we wanted to do more to help him.
Two or three days later, Kerry went to visit the man to find out how he was doing, and found him without his wrist brace on, but a big smile on his face. He told her that his arm was all better now, and that what we had done had worked really well! Kerry insisted that he put the brace back on, but he continued to argue, asking her why he needed to wear it when it is all better. Then I realized that God must have worked a miracle to heal that mans arm, in answer to our prayers. I know and believe that God is the Healer, but it is just as amazing to me every time He does it. God knew that man needed to be healed right away so that he could care for his family, so He did it! I love working for a God like that. I have an advantage that no hospital around has….even though I feel like I don’t know what I am doing.
Like a gentle Father, God holds my hands, and helps me to walk by faith. He lets me feel like I am helping, even though He is the one that is actually doing the work. Here is a quote that I love. “The Lord can work most effectually through those who are most sensible of their own insufficiency, and who will rely upon Him as their leader and source of strength. He will make them strong by uniting their weakness to His might, and wise by connecting their ignorance with His wisdom.” PP 553