Jamaica Part 3: Reflections-Kassandra

I can’t believe we’ve been home from Jamaica over a month now!  Sorry for the delay in posts but I still want to share some of the reflections from students/residents.  First up is from Kassandra, she is a first year pharmacy student in our professional program at Cedarville.
Introducing Kassandra & friend!
Introducing Kassandra & friend!
“I’ve always had an interest in missions, especially international because I love to travel. When the opportunity came up to do a medical missions trip over spring break in Jamaica, I couldn’t pass it up. At first I was really nervous about raising the funds and worried that my skills would be insufficient. However, as I began praying about the trip, funds were coming in and I began to gain a sense of peace about the trip. When the day finally arrived for us to board the plane to Jamaica, I was nervous and excited because I knew God was about to challenge me in new ways. Our first weekend there, I feel in love with the beautiful landscape and saw more shades of green than I’d ever seen in my life! When we arrived at the camp on Sunday, I was excited to see our team beginning to come together as a whole and playing games and laughing together.
As Monday morning came around, I felt a bit uneasy as I had no idea what to expect as our bus pulled up to the first clinic site. It was like jumping head first into water, before I knew it I was reading patient charts and filling med bags. Soon I got to counsel my first patient, and it was a strange phenomenon to have a patient look to me as an “expert” on her medications. I got to help counsel two beautiful, little boys, and show their mother how to properly use a medication dropper to dose her child’s meds. As the week went on, I gained confidence in my skills of communicating with patients, and my favorite was after getting a bunch of “yes ma’m” as I was explaining the directions, and then asking them to tell me how to take the medication I would get a “huh?” I finally got comfortable enough where I was also able to start praying with some of the patients.
Kassandra counseling a patient on how to take her medicine.
Kassandra counseling a patient on how to take her medicine.
I was so encouraged by their faith and how happy they all seemed to be with so much less than what we have. One of my favorite songs we would sing with the patients was “I am blessed” and it would almost bring me to tears that these women and children living in poverty seemed to understand more than I did that what really makes you blessed is so much more than material things.
One of the encounters that sticks out to me the most from the trip is the opportunity I had to share my faith with one of the younger helper girls on the trip. She was from Colorado and still in high school. She was into the party scene and had no plans for her life. I got to share with her some of my experiences and how God has really had an impact in my life. I encouraged her in pursuing Christ and college, and by the end of the week she had a new interest in pharmacy school and was already considering another missions trip with her church!
Sometimes you don’t know who you are going to make an impact on, but you need to have an open mind and be consistent in the way you are living out your faith. If I had only been focusing on sharing Christ with the Jamaicans, I would’ve completely missed the chance to witness to my own team members!  This trip definitely taught me to fully rely on God from everything to my skills in the pharmacy to the way I effectively communicated with the patients. I recently heard a saying that “God doesn’t choose the equipped, He equips the chosen.” I definitely feel that God gave me the skills I needed that week and that He will continue to guide and direct my future, as long as I continue to let Him. I hope to go back on another medical missions trip to Jamaica and hopefully other countries too!”
Thanks to Kassandra for sharing this on our blog…whenever I think about being blessed I can hear the women singing that song in my head too.
Sunrises like this remind me of God's BEAUTIFUL plan for our day if we give it over to Him!
Sunrises like this remind me of God’s BEAUTIFUL plan for our day if we give it over to Him!
Jamaican Chorus…
I am blessed. I am blessed.
Every day that I live, I am blessed.
When I wake up in the morning
Till I lay my head to rest,
I am blessed. I am blessed.
When I wake up in the morning
Till I lay my head to rest,
I am blessed. I am blessed…

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