Why Take a Healthcare Mission Trip Part 1
March 17, 2017
by Don Thompson, MD
Director, Global Health Outreach
Welcome to a new series regarding why taking a healthcare mission trip is a great idea.
Part One: The Great Reset
I had a water main break near my house a few weeks ago and had to deal with no water for…an entire day! It served as a good reminder of how comfortable I am, how easy it is for me to feel entitled to that comfort and how my first reaction is to complain. Healthcare mission trips have a way of resetting my perspective, as well as reminding me why I’m here on this earth and how much there is to be grateful for. In the words of a volunteer who recently returned from El Salvador:
I went to El Salvador...just got home. Will never be able to describe the experience, but it was life changing! Got to work with children, adults, dental, Rx, eyeglasses, prayed over, with and for the people! Shared my testimony and was baptized...I am a true follower of Christ, I would go back in a heart beat...It's really hard to even put into words what this trip means to me. I feel I was blessed way more then the people of El Salvador. This trip changed who I am...who I am to become because of what Jesus has done for me. We went as a team of strangers and left as a family in Christ Jesus. I thank Pastor Rene for his love for the people, for his heart that he wears on his sleeve. I pray that God will bless his move to the states for seminary and his family! I came away with better knowledge on how to talk to people about the gospel...About our salvation because of Jesus! I feel I have become bolder about my faith... I will feel that I am honoring God's purpose for my life!
Whether you have been practicing healthcare for decades or are just getting started, it’s easy to forget why we do what we do. The paperwork, the bureaucracy, the frustrations our patients have to deal with to see us and the wearing down of the “helping” relationship we used to have with our patients can distract us from why we got into healthcare in the first place. This “reset” is the single most common piece of feedback we receive from our volunteers.