Meet Emily…..She is one of the pharmacy residents I have had the pleasure to work with this year! All three of the residents that do their Ambulatory Care Rotation with me were able to come this year, which was a huge blessing!
Here is some of Emily’s reflection from the week…
“Although I did my best to prepare for the mission trip before we left, I do not believe any amount of time could have fully prepared me for the experience. I knew the Jamaicans would be less fortunate than I, with fewer luxuries and amenities, but what I could not have prepared for was the attitude and outlook of most of the Jamaican people. Some live without electricity and running water, but when approached, they speak of how blessed they are to be living and breathing for another day. Each clinic was organized a little differently from the last, but all of them were filled with grateful Jamaicans who were happy to have the opportunity to see a doctor.
When I feel a little ill, I make a quick phone call to my physician, make an appointment, and move on with my routine. These patients often do not have the opportunity to see a physician due to the remote area and dangerous roads. As the patients sang together to start the beginning of the clinic day, raising their hands in praise to the Lord, I felt myself holding back tears as I realized how completely unthankful I am for all that I have. I find myself complaining about the smallest of problems, even when the Lord has blessed me with so much. I will never forget the positive attitude of each and every one of the patients I served.
My walk with the Lord was strengthened greatly during my week in St. Elizabeth. When confronted with a problem in life, I often call my fiancée or my mother to discuss my problems and ask for advice, as opposed to taking my problem or concern to the Lord in prayer. Because I was without cell phone service for an entire seven days, I had a lot of time to spend in prayer and reflection. On the first night, I felt very overwhelmed by the experience, feeling that there were too many patients and not enough time to make a real difference. I did not know if I could ever make a real difference, as I’m only one person. My heart broke for all of the Jamaicans we saw that day, so many without regular healthcare.
Although I spent time counseling patients, I had very little time to just sit and talk to them and show them that I care. I also did not have the opportunity to pray with any of my patients. I felt discouraged and helpless. On the first evening, I migrated to the upper porch with my Bible and my journal, where I prayed for a long time and asked God to help me through the week and watch over the many patients we had seen that day. I knew I couldn’t do it alone, and I’ll likely never see the patients I talked to again. As I read my Bible following prayer, I felt myself being drawn to the Psalms, where the Lord gave me a set of verses I’ll cherish for the rest of my life:
“The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles. The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous: but the Lord delivereth him out of them all. He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken.” –Psalm 34:17-20
After reading these verses, I felt a wonderful peace pass over me, and I was reminded the Lord would never leave me nor forsake me. My faith grew daily, and I felt myself singing hymns on the bus to myself, renewed in knowing the Lord was with me always.
I had the opportunity as well to work with many wonderful people and make new friends. An unfortunate part of my personality involves an excessive amount of worry and stress, oftentimes over things that have not happened. It was a great blessing to me to work with others who feel less stress over the little things, mostly because they have given their problems over to the Lord. Knowing that He is in charge of all things brings me a great comfort. I will forever be thankful for those who demonstrated a great unwavering faith in the Lord.
Before my trip, I felt I had a great faith, and I still feel that I do. However, I have much room to grow, and this mission trip was the beginning of a great period of growth for me. I hope to continue to grow in my faith, especially in learning to give things up to God.”