Colossians 3:23-24~ Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as for the Lord and not for man, since you know that you will receive an inheritance from the Lord as a reward. It is Jesus you are serving.
Have you ever had a job that you just loved? You wake up in the morning and get excited for 8am to come. You finish at the end of a long hard day and still say “I love my life”. Well if not then please don’t be envious of me because that is the kind of job I have.
Last September, after finishing the Church Leaders Conferences, I switched back over to the Hospital to take care of patients again. My boss asked if I would be willing to work in outpatients doing wound care. Outpatients is the place that patients get discharged to once their wounds are manageable (i.e. no narcotics needed for dressing changes, wounds aren’t too badly infected, only once a day dressing changes, etc.). At first I was pretty nervous due to the fact that throughout my 7 year nursing career, most wound care had been done by ‘wound care nurses’. But in talking with my boss she explained that due to my Mercy Ships nursing experience with all the different specialties that she believe that I would be able to learn and adapt quickly with some mentoring. So going into outpatients I knew I needed God as my guide and helper to have wisdom and discretion with the variety of wounds I would see. After the first few weeks of working there I came to LOVE my job. At the end of last year my boss asked if I would be willing to stay in outpatients for the Togo 2012 outreach and I of course, accepted.
So here I am, Togo 2012, wound care nurse and LOVING it. We deal with facial tumors, cleft lips/palates, hernias, goiters, lipomas, plastics, and a few other surgical procedures. On average, right now, we see about 170 patients a week. But as the weeks continue and more surgeries are performed we will be seeing between 250-300 a week. Besides doing the wound care (which is sooooo fun) the other reason I love my job is because I get to do a lot of teaching. We do malaria teaching, hygiene teaching, mouth care teaching, nutrition teaching, and even sometimes wound care teaching. Its like I have found the best of both worlds for the giftings God has given me, nursing and teaching. Also since we are the last stop before the patients are sent back home we also have a lot of opportunities for the patients to share with us their thankfulness and joy to God and/or Jesus (depending on if they are Christian or not) for all that has been done for them. Being able to talk with and pray with these patients has been an amazing experience as the Holy Spirit moves in and through these each one. God is soo good!
Some patients’ wounds are extremely difficult. Some patients’ personalities are extremely difficult. But all patients are a joy to serve. In February of this year we had a screening day where over 3500 people came to be assessed to see if they would be chosen for surgery with Mercy Ships. So even though some patients are harder than others I know how special each one is because God chose each one.
Joy. Throughout my life I have found joy whenever I am doing what the Lord has called me to do. I have found joy during hard times and I have found joy during the most amazing times. I have found that you can be happy doing a lot of things but to be joyful that comes from the Lord.
As we finish out these next two months of surgeries please continue to pray for these patients to find that joy that only Jesus can supply. That they would trust in him and that their hope would be restored.
Romans 15:14~ May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.