This is real love–not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent his Son as a sacrifice to us to take away our sins. Dear friends, since God loved us that much, we surely ought to love one another. 1 John 4:10, 11.
Last April I went to China on a medical mission with Project Partner. I was blown away by the love I saw expressed from our team to a community that comprised an under resourced rural village.
It was stunning to me that most of the 41 persons on our team were medical professionals who used their personal vacation time and paid their own way to serve the poor for a week. Their servant’s heart and their loving attitude created a sacrifice I’ll never forget.
I’d love to tell many stories in detail but since space is limited please imagine with me the richer context behind these snapshots. The head of staff for an Emergency Room in a large hospital in a wealthy city brought five of his team with him. We made home visits on winding roads in driving rain to diagnose, treat and pray for elderly and infants that couldn’t travel for treatment–and did it with joy. We visited homes where the conditions were deplorable. At times we didn’t have electricity or running water. Often tears would well up in our eyes when we realized that there was little we could do with the best medical treatment there was to offer. So we prayed. And when we prayed the joy and sincere peaceful gratitude expressed by the Christians we served was overwhelming. I’m crying now as I write, remembering that they gave more to us in a lesson of faith than we gave to them in material help.
Nurses and lab techs gave their time to visit the local grade school to teach personal hygiene and AIDs awareness. They spoke frankly and with honesty that was motivated by a biblical worldview. It was impossible to miss that they truly cared. They played games with the children, taught them songs and loved on them. Amazingly, the administrators gave them the opportunity to share their personal faith. Given the opportunity they shared God’s love and boldly told the story of Jesus in a country where the gospel is usually not allowed in the public school.
Dentists, doctors, nurses, emergency responders and some regular non-medical people like me gave routine physicals to over 700 students. They even found a job I could do. I held a clip board on the top of children’s heads so we could check their height. A poignant scene revolved around what happened one day when we checked the eyesight of a young girl. As it became apparent that she could hardly see anything other than the giant E at the top of the chart one of the team members began to cry. His tears brought tears to others on the team. It wasn’t routine, even to a professional, that here was a child of God with a severe disability.
I was so profoundly affected by that week that when I returned I changed my Password on my email to “loveoneanother.”
Lord, Thank you for these times were heaven touches earth and earth becomes more like heaven.