Perplexed, I stood in the open-air hallway of the hospital. This was my third trip with Global Passion Ministry – a medical mission team. Every year a team of doctors, nurses, and a pharmacist travel to Nicaragua to repair cleft lips and remove tonsils.
Since I am not a medical professional, I didn’t feel like the best choice of people to go with the group. Why take a musician when there were so many patients to see? For that reason I asked the same question of the Lord every year, “Why me?” “Lord, I’m a singer What can I possibly do here? There are a limited number of people who can go. Why not include another doctor or nurse instead?”
When I go, I take my little Martin Backpacker guitar; the locals call it a “stick with strings.” I have free rein and can go anywhere – including the patients’ rooms. My ministry to the team consists of singing two songs, and praying over each person every morning. The rest of the day I’m on my own.
I sing songs in English, hug people, and smile at everyone. I don’t speak Spanish or Miskitu, so conversing with those we have come to serve is difficult. Some speak English, but not very well. On the second afternoon of surgery, an elderly woman thanked me for singing. “You give the people hope,” she said with a smile.
I began to notice that whenever I reached out to a person to hold his or her hand, the hands of those nearby began to move in anticipation. They would be next! Their excitement caught me off guard; after all, I know me. I’m not that amazing.
This year I spoke with the drummer from Verbo Iglesia’s worship team. “Junior, it costs almost two thousand dollars for each person to come. Wouldn’t you rather have the cash?” I asked. “Oh, senora, no. When you come, you let us know that God has not forgotten us in this place. We very much appreciate that you make time to visit,” he replied.
Really? That’s why I’m here?
You may think you have nothing to offer on the mission field. You have far more than you may think…
…you are the hands and feet of Jesus, touching them, loving them.
What an honor to serve our Lord in such a simple way.