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Beautiful Beginnings

I have never taught a kid how to use silverware, but I’d imagine it would be something like I experienced. Today, I explained to each patient how to put a thermometer under their tongue, through a translator, in a schoolhouse-turned-clinic, in the bush of west Africa. Kids peered in through the windows and giggled, as they watched their fellow villagers try to raise their tongues to the roof of their mouths. My new Ghanaian friends were not the only ones feeling a bit awkward, as I opened my mouth and pointed under my tongue to show them were it would be placed. The awkwardness suddenly stopped when we connected over our Lord, Jesus Christ. Our hearts instantly grew close when I heard them say, in their beautiful native tongue, “Jesus is the Savior, and he died to save me.” I was once again reminded that we serve a BIG God, who is worshipped across the world.

Our Saturday began in worship, prayer and time in God’s word, as a team. Still recovering from our unexpectedly long and traffic-filled 13-hour trek from Accra to Half-Assini, we praised God for bringing us across the world safely. We did not waste time, as we had our first clinic of the trip. Our team set up in a village a few miles from where we are staying, and we got to work meeting the physical and spiritual needs of our brothers and sisters in Christ. We did our best with our newly assigned roles to figure out the best flow from intake, to the physicians, and then to the pharmacists. Despite our short comings, all of our patients heard the Gospel, were prayed for, and were seen by prescribers. In our team meeting this evening, I reflected on how successful we were on our first day, and how well our team worked together.

Most of the villagers I saw come through my intake station today were Christians attending local churches, but there were a few exceptions. A Muslim man, that my translator knew from college, stopped in to get a checkup. At the end of the assessment, I began ask him about his spiritual background. He immediately looked to the ground and squirmed in his chair. He went on to tell me that he prays about 4 times per day, to a god who he can’t know personally. He said that his family has always been Muslim and he doesn’t know much about it. I shared the Gospel with him, and he understood and seemed to agree. Conflicted, he told me that he believed what I said, but he couldn’t become a Christian because his family would disown him. I challenged him and shared with him that Jesus was poor, hated, and persecuted. He also made the greatest sacrifice, to lay down his perfect life for our imperfect life. My friend did not choose salvation today, but I know that he is one step closer to entering into true life in Christ.

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