I was just 9 years old, the first time I sang a sweet baby girl into Heaven. Her mom was too overcome with grief to hold her baby. It was too late…too late to do anything but watch her die. She had wet malnutrition and her body was so swollen, water was seeping through her skin. Her eye lids were completely swollen shut.
So I held her close to my heart and began rocking her. With tears streaming down my face, I sang to her until that final moment, when her chest rose for the very last time.
I knew that very day – that God had called me to medical ministry.
By the time I was 16 years old, I had already delivered a dozen babies in Haitian huts, stitched up countless machete cuts, memorized all the treatment options for every disease we were currently treating, AND had invested hundreds of hours training alongside Haitian and American doctors.
As soon as I graduated from college, I officially opened my pediatric clinic. The clinic was open every day from 8am-2pm. I saw roughly 50-70 kids/day. I worked alone. So it was my job to – diagnose, request labs, and prescribe all needed medications.
Living out my calling wasn’t always easy. Though I ABSOLUTELY loved watching all the little ones grow stronger and healthier – not every day was rewarding. In fact, almost every substantial win – was met equally with a significant loss.
This post below shows a tiny peek into those first few years when I ran my clinic in St. Louis.
When we moved to the Mole, there was just one small hospital in town. The visits were expensive, the labs were limited, and their pharmacy shelves were always bare. Sadly, those who were in need the most, didn’t have the funds to be seen there.
Having spent a decade running my own peds clinic on our main campus, I felt very confident in my ability to start all over again. So I rented a room in the home next door, and we opened the Mole’s first ever pediatric clinic in 2011.
There was no mission funding available for this new medical endeavor.
We were a new campus, that required new supporters. If we wanted to add a program/ministry, that was our personal responsibility to fund it. So when we first opened, I was the only full-time medical provider, so that we could keep costs low.
The story below was shared over 12K times when it was first posted. At the time, I couldn’t process the narrative that was unfolding before me.
Though these situations never get easier, the scenario no longer stands out as an anomaly. Sadly, it’s a story told over and over – more times than one could ever count. The faces, names, and ages may change – but the realities are exactly the same.
ROOTS & BOOTS ON CAMPUS
In 2013, we started building a ‘legit’ clinic on our property! The clinic had a pharmacy, small lab area, a records room, and an exam room.
It was such a rush for me – to watch the little one-room “wanna-be” clinic – turn into a real space where more patients could be seen more efficiently.
News of our full-time clinic spread quickly.
Every week, we received dozens of patients who had walked 6-8 hours just to reach us. There were trucks full of patients from villages that were a 3-hour drive from us.
We were humbled and overwhelmed by their needs – as well as – encouraged – knowing God could use us to impact all the surrounding communities.
It’s been 12 years, since I started that little, one-room clinic. In that time, we have expanded our clinic twice. We now have 10 full-time staff members. We also have 2 large exam rooms, a pharmacy twice the size as the old one, a fully functioning laboratory, a play-therapy room, and multiple storage areas that can easily be converted to fulfill our next need.
THE ONE THING THAT HAS NOT CHANGED….
This program is still SOLELY funded from our personal ministry account.
This program goes hand-in-hand with our therapy program. The clinic is the conduit for most of our outreach ministries. It’s amazing what we discover and uncover about our community through this program. Our “Healing Hands” fundraiser includes our medical clinic – as they are both vital to each other.
The cost of buying medications in Haiti have skyrocketed. Now that teams are few and far between, there’s no more suitcases full of supplies to help refill our shelves.
The staff is well aware that we are reaching a point where tough decisions must be made. Next month, we will begin decreasing the number of days we are open to help offset our deficits. Because this isn’t a mission-funded program, but rather our family-funded ministry, the burden we carry for it’s future weighs heavy on us.
Though we’ve not reached our baseline goal, this will be our last post for Healing Hands.
Thanks for reading, sharing, supporting, and praying over our ministry.
CHECKS CAN BE MADE TO:
NWHCM 7984 West State Rd 32. Lebanon, IN 46052. – OR ONLINE GIVING – CLICK HERE
Please mark: HEALING HANDS in the memo/notes section.
MOBILE CLINIC IN DANIEL
Last week, we had a request to do a mobile clinic in Daniel, which is about an hour drive from us. They haven’t had access to medical care since the last time we were there (several years ago).
When our funding was stable, we did mobile clinics all the time. My heart has always been for mobile clinics and driving to regions where medical services are not available at all. Everyone is always so appreciative. There’s also a bit of joy on our part, knowing something as simple as an antibiotic can completely change the quality of life of a child suffering with pneumonia. (We seem to have a lot of that going on right now.)
The staff met together and everyone agreed… though we can’t afford to go – we also can’t afford not to go! So we went….and it was a beautiful day of ministry. Momma Gigi led worship and devotions. All the patients were prayed over as well. The presence of the Lord was definitely in that place, on that day!