Orientation, Jan 17th
Updated: Jan 25, 2019
They shouldn’t call it orientation at the Christian Health Service Corps, they should call it Welcome Home Week. From the moment we arrived at Shalom Retreat and Conference center, we felt it – like we were part of a warm family, like we had finally arrived. Every meal was a homecooked feast served in our director’s dining room. We could wrap up in one of many warm fleece blankets or slide our feet into slippers during the information sessions. We spent an hour every morning worshipping together. But it was more than that. We arrived with plenty of baggage – disappointment from working with organizations based on faith but strangled in bureaucratic red tape, confusion about how all the pieces would fit together in a smaller, more flexible organization, and insecurities about finding funding for this next phase of our ministry. But Greg, Candi, and the other staff let us unpack our concerns piece by piece, examined them with us, and helped us cast them to the wind. Other missions organizations had trouble accommodating my passion for public health, said they couldn’t spare a doctor from serving full-time in their hospital, and had turned us away. Christian Health Service Corps celebrated my calling to preventive medicine, telling me that they had been looking for missionaries like me. We thought we were asking too much hoping to continue seeing my former patients in clinic one day a week in the capital city while investing the rest of my time in a new hospital and community health program an hour away. But Greg affirmed my desire for continuity and patient diversity. He told me, “That shouldn’t be a problem,” and that was it. Then the funding. This would be our first mission assignment for which we raised our entire support, and we were terrified. But Greg told us it would be okay, that doctors who serve with Christian Health Service Corps generally develop enough partnerships to be fully funded in a matter of months. It was hard to believe, but I watched how all the staff of CHSC live confidently in that kind of faith, and that was good enough to reassure me. And then God started providing for us in ways we never expected. Day after day during the time we were there, we received news of unexpected gifts flowing into our account before we even had the chance to ask. These I can only comprehend as God’s perfectly timed assurance and affirmation that we were where He wanted us and that He would take care of the rest. This week showed me a missionary support team who was more than I could have hoped for, and I’m excited to fulfill my part of the Great Commission alongside my new family. It’s good to be home.