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Last summer Sarah Oliver had the privilege of taking part in the Mediquest team to East Africa. She shares:
I am coming up to a point of change in my future. Having always been interested and involved with overseas mission, and being a nurse, I wanted to see how those things might fit together in the future.
I joined a team of five medical, or pre-medical, professionals as we visited a number of healthcare projects in Kenya and Tanzania. The team was led by a medical missionary couple, who planned the trip to expose us to the different ways that healthcare is used on the mission field, to explore the various issues around healthcare ministry and to see what life is like for those engaged in long term mission.
“I saw the impact of a lifetime of learning and trusting the Lord…”
We visited four different healthcare projects – two large mission hospitals and two rural clinic settings, spending a week in each. Each place was so different to the previous and showed us very different sides to the work. Despite the variety of settings, we received such a warm welcome in each place. At the end of each week it was so hard to leave, having been so drawn into the community and lives of our hosts.
I was so struck by the commitment and perseverance of the missionaries in each place we visited, the way they have responded to the needs in their community and sought to work with locals to bring change. I saw the impact of a lifetime of learning and trusting the Lord in seeking to bring the message of Jesus to the lost, and felt a growing desire to be part, in some way, of the work to reach them.
Obeying the call
Having returned home, I am still not sure what the next step is, but it has been an incredible opportunity to experience something of what long term mission looks like. I am reminded of the importance of obeying the call to go and the many who still have no opportunity to hear the gospel. I have come home with a determination to be a better supporter, loving and caring for the missionaries we support, and I feel more willing and open to whatever the Lord has in store for me next (without my list of excuses) looking forward to that rather than being slightly terrified! It has also been a real encouragement to see how God is at work across the world, and to see faithful servants giving their lives for the lost.