Ghana Medical Mission – Lindsay’s Story

Ghana April 2014 Lindsay boyMay 1 will be a day that is forever burned into my heart. We headed down to the lake to board a boat that would take us across the river to a small fishing village called Hausakope. It began like any other clinic day. We climbed into a good sized boat, loaded suitcases full of medication, a generator, the Jesus movie and clinic supplies in, and crawled over wooden beams to find a seat. I sat near the front and on the edge so I could look out over the water. My heart broke as I saw the many fishing boats, most manned by children no older than 9 or 10, and my mind raced wondering their stories. As we neared Hausakope and began to unload from the boat, I couldn’t help but feel that today was going to be different.

Ghana April 2014 Lindsay workingWe set up the clinic under a large grove of trees and before we knew it the line of people waiting to be seen was up to well over 100. As the people began to come through I noticed how sick they were. The disease and sickness in this community was more than I had ever seen and as the day went on I found myself questioning God. I was questioning why I was even there, these people were so sick and the diseases so far progressed that there was nothing my stethoscope or my nursing knowledge could do. There was no way I could make a difference or heal these people. We diagnosed several cases of malaria, saw a few older children that had survived Spina Bifida but were now paralyzed, saw a lot of high blood pressures, extreme cases of malnutrition, lake parasites, and diagnosed entire families with HIV. All in all, by the end of the day, I felt completely defeated. I was heartbroken and felt so helpless. We were there for the day, but as soon as we left they still would not have access to medications, clean drinking water, or any medical care.

As we walked to the crusade that night, I prayed that God would calm my heart and help me to understand what I had seen. I sat on a bench with Liz and one by one the little children began to come and all of a sudden there were 9 or so kids on our laps and my heart began to smile. I knew that if these children could hear about how much Jesus loved them and if they could come know him as their personal savior this community could have a chance at a new beginning.

Ghana April 2014 Lindsay with boyAs the Jesus movie ran, the people clapped and cheered each time he performed a miracle and I couldn’t help but think about how much Hausakope needed a miracle. This was an idol worshiping village, a village full of evil, oppression, bondage, disease, and sickness. And that’s when it hit me. I wasn’t there to heal them of their physical ailments or cure their disease. I was there to love them the way Jesus loves them. I was there to share with them about a man who could break the chains of bondage, cast out the evil, and heal not only their physical self, but their hearts, their spirits, and their land. God used the hopelessness I felt throughout the day to show me that it has nothing to do with me and everything to do with him. He can heal them, he can make the difference, and he will give Hausakope the hope they need.