The morning began with a prayer walk. It’s something I haven’t done before, but it was refreshing to prepare even my own heart for what was about to take place. We prayed for the people we passed in the street for the families living in the houses we walked by. Then, thanks to Dr. Evan and his team we unloaded the truck and were set up for Clinic in fifteen minutes! The set up included a triage and waiting area, five med stations and then pharmacy.
Triage was run by two people, one of them a Spanish speaking man who has worked with this group for three years in a row. Chris, helped the triage team with crowd control and directing people to the right places. Then the med stations were ran by us, the PA students, and overseen by Dr. Evan and Misty (NP). We paired a first year with a second year and each team had a translator, this allowed great collaboration and teaching moments and together, we saw ninety people before lunch–with a total of 130 by the end of the day!
Patients came with many complaints from belly aches to skin infections and we learned quickly the common conditions ailing the population. More importantly after discussing diagnoses and treatment, we had plenty of time to hear their stories and talk about the truest ailment: that of the soul. Suddenly, there were not doctor-patient conversations going on in that room, but human to human. Shame, guilt and doubt, the same things that entangle us, have pulled many away from God and into a pattern of life that leaves them desperate or outcast. Being able to speak of the grace and indelible love of God to these beautiful people was not only hope to their ears but life giving to me and so strengthening to my faith.
We all came away from Clinic emotionally spent but spiritually fed, physically exhausted but bursting at the seams with joy–and this, this is what only God can do. May we grow in his grace as we continue this journey and may His word return bearing much fruit in the lives of those who came and listened today. Amen.