I recently, was meant to go on a medical brigade to Panama with a group of Yalies. It was to be a 10-day trip of service to the community basically by staffing a local clinic, providing medical supplies and offering helping hands to local doctors. While I am definitely wary of these short-term stints in the name of “service” and I myself have been blessed to be on one-too-many, as well as organized multiple ones to my home country of Ghana, for some funny reason I really was looking forward to going on this one. (initially! lol.) My reasons were that I will be able to draw parallels between Ghana and Panama, as developing countries, see healthcare provided in another developing setting, experience Latin America (heck yes! Still on my wish-list. :D) and perhaps gain some more perspective and inspiration into the healthcare profession as someone desiring to go to medical school here in the US, as I was certain I will definitely be transformed in one way or the other, and I will have the opportunity to be self-reflexive about my culture, the culture of healthcare in the US vis-à-vis Panama, Ghana and what it is we are all really searching for to do when we say we are going on trips like these! With experience though, I knew the effect on me will far outweigh whatever help we think we are providing to that community! lol.
So as I mentioned before I went into this whole tirade of “Why I should have gone or how it could have been beneficial to me”,I wasn’t able to go for logistical reasons like last minute immigration requirements and policies. So I had to do the arduous task of writing to all my donors who contributed to make the trip possible. And in one of them to a friend of mine, I found myself typing up the paragraph below (yes, the reason you read through this heavy mass of text was just so you will read the paragraph below!Sorry for the length! I am working on talking less here, lol.):
[Insert Name of my Friend here], Thank you so much for being willing to invest in my trip! I was looking forward to it but I know now that God perhaps, didn’t have that in mind for me, even though I don’t understand it now, especially after consulting Him every step along the way. 🙂 I know now that His silence, doesn’t mean yes. and it is a dangerous thing to move without the clear sounding voice of God giving you a HUGE thumbs up sign or a green-light. 🙂 So yes, shame on me. Sometimes, we think we have reached a place where we are so mature in the Word, we think we are hearing clearly and pride ourselves in our proximity to Him. It is only then that He humbles us, and makes us realize that we meddled too much in self-assurance, short-changing faith on his never-changing grace for our fleshly desires. Ah what a good God!
Romans 8:28 ~ And we know that, all things work together for the good of them that love the Lord, to them that are called according to His purpose.
Psalm 37:23 ~ ‘The steps of the righteous are ordered by God, and He delights in His way”
Isaiah 30:21 ~ Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”