I’m on a plane from Guatemala to Atlanta then heading to Birmingham. Now, I could make this post about how much I already miss Guatemala and how I so wish the Lord would lead me back there, but I will leave that for another post. I have something else I’d like to share.
As in all areas of our lives, especially mission trips, if we allow Him to, God will place us right at the place He needs us to be; where He can use us more efficiently and where glory can be given to Him alone. This trip was no exception.
Just to give a short example, is one of our team members. She was in Guatemala only 2 years ago. Since then, has had cancer, treatment and is now in remission. She gave her testimony a couple of times during the trip and one thing she said that will remain with all of us is “we shouldn’t feel like we have to do anything, but that we get to do it”. For example, she never has a bad hair day because she is grateful she gets to have hair at all.
Her words encouraged all of us even as we sat in a doctor’s office 2 hours before our flight was supposed to take off…interested, yet?
There are 26 people in our group, half are flying to Birmingham and the others are flying to Mobile. As we prepared to go through the first checkpoint, we all hugged goodbye to those on the other flight. As we walked through the checkpoint and about to get on the escalator, one of our team members, Cindy, fainted. Every one of us went to her aide. Did I mention this was a medical mission so we had about 11 nurses with us?
I asked Cindy as she was coming to if she knew who I was. She said she did, but by the look in her eyes, I knew she didn’t. We tried to stand her up and she fainted again. A paramedic came and took her blood pressure. It was 90/40. Her normal is 110/60, so it was low. The paramedic would not let her board the plane until she was cleared by a doctor. The doctor was in a meeting off site.
So, Cindy, her husband, and I, the translator, went in an ambulance to meet the doctor at her office. When we arrived to the doctor’s office, Cindy was shivering she was so cold. Although, it was almost 100° in Guatemala today.
The doctor said she was dehydrated and needed IV fluids, but we didn’t have time to start an IV and the doctor didn’t have the fluids there. We would have to go to the pharmacy ourselves to get them. Now, before you start thinking “well what do you expect in a third world country, keep reading.
In order to get to the pharmacy, we would’ve had to get a taxi to take me there and get me back because the ambulance wasn’t allowed to drive us since it was out of their zone. All 3 of us couldn’t go and I was the only one who spoke Spanish, so I headed out. Before, I walked out of the door, the paramedics said they would drive me. They said they didn’t care if it was out of their zone, they wanted to be sure Cindy got what she needed and we could make our flight.
They drove me as far as they could, then one of the paramedics walked me down a couple of blocks to the pharmacy. As I walked there, I prayed they had what we needed. They did, but only in coconut flavor. We paid and headed back to the doctor’s office.
When we got there, I told Cindy I hoped she liked coconut. She said at that point she would’ve drunk any flavor. We laughed and the doctor was curious as to what was funny. I explained it to her and she said she prefers the coconut flavor because it doesn’t make the patient nauseous.
Cindy drank as fast as she could, but not too fast so she wouldn’t get nauseous. Her blood pressure was back up after drinking the second bottle! She had to drink 3 bottles. The doctor gave her some meds to take there and some for later and we headed back to the airport. I’d like to add that this whole visit cost us Q66 which is about $8.
Security cleared us and our team greeted us at the gate with cheers. As we were waiting in line to board, Pastor James came to me and thanked me. Before, I could say anything, he cut me off and told me to take the congratulations and appreciation. I didn’t know what to do with myself. I wanted to say that it was no problem, that is was my pleasure, that that is what I was there for. Instead, I started to cry and proceeded in line.
A few minutes later, he came over again and said that he knows I am a giving person, but sometimes negating or minimizing someone’s appreciation is robbing them. I said I understood and immediately proved I didn’t understand by saying “it was my pleasure” instead of saying “you’re welcome”.
I walked on the plane thinking to myself how I always, not often, but always do that. I never say “you’re welcome”. I always say something like it was nothing or something to that affect. I know why I do that. It’s because I believe I really did do nothing. I think anybody would’ve done what I did and that is true, but could they? I was the only person in that group that spoke Spanish. They would’ve been literally lost and more stressed without me, a familiar person who could help them.
As I write this, one part of me feels like I’m boasting. The other part is boasting…on God! He placed me there, at that moment for that purpose. The paramedics, doctor, pharmacy; all placed by Him for that purpose. He knew what would occur and He placed the right people at the right place.
The paramedic said to me as we rode back from the pharmacy, that there is a saying in Guatemala that says something to the affect that if the Lord allows it, the devil will oppose it. Well, the devil couldn’t stop all of the right people from being where they were needed, so he tried to negate our (my) participation.
What have I learned from this? That I should never say “you’re welcome”. I should always say “to God be the glory”! Let’s see how the enemy likes that?