As the pandemic continues, stay-at-home orders for several countries remain, and others begin to open back up, our work in each base is looking different every week. However, we are blessed to continue finding ways to serve God in the communities to bring light and hope. Today’s story comes from Dr. Brendaliz Hernandez at our Health Care – Cienfuegos Site in Santiago, Dominican Republic.
Who would have thought that the world as we know it would change in such drastic ways this year; that it would force us to learn new ways of living, serving, and relating. Who would have thought that it would also add a subtle level of uncertainty when treating patients. Now there is a need to give the best of yourself, find multiple solutions, a desire to provide relief, to contribute, being close but physically apart, and a passion for protecting everyone. In the midst of all of the uncertainty, I have learned a great lesson: we don’t have the knowledge, we don’t have the wealth, we don’t have the solution, we don’t have the antidote, we don’t have the cure; we have nothing, but we have the Lord, and through Him, we can do all things.
Today God calls you to serve differently. Go in prayer to Him, and He will teach you.
As you guys may already know, I am a missionary doctor, which means that I have different ways of serving in medicine. I have the opportunity to show Jesus to our patients, the doctor of doctors, and the medicine par excellence of our lives. That fact by itself already makes me a different type of doctor, but with COVID-19, we had to find creative ways to fight this threat alongside the community.
Our economy’s pillars are tourism and exports, so with the closing of our borders, our population is affected. This change caused the clinic to close, but I couldn’t help but want to keep supporting my community. So we immediately created an online group of all our hypertension and diabetes patients to share the word of God, and with the help of Miranda (one of my assistants), deliver medicine to their homes once a month.
The pregnancy program was another big challenge because we needed to keep track of the prenatal checkups. Mary (another one of my assistants) and I had to reduce the consults to one per quarter safely help those beautiful babies and the mothers. We have a large community of single women, widows, elderly folk, and Haitian foreigners who began to be affected by the food crisis. Still, thanks to a project of our ministry called “CANASTA,” we were able to raise funds to bring food every 15 days to those families.
I must say that I am very proud of my patients because they have been very aware of the changes and have taken health recommendations with great humility.
We know that challenges and tests always come along the way. One of my quarantine tests was that my vehicle broke down, making it difficult for me to reach my patients. It is not recommended to go without a personal vehicle, since taking public transportation is a risk, so I decided to send a letter to my friends and supporters. The most beautiful thing about the ministry in which we work is that when we all come together, the vision of us being able to create a bond between the students and the community is fulfilled to bring Christ to everyone.
We are certainly going through a significant health crisis in the Dominican Republic. Still, I have the faith that as a ministry, we will give our best, no matter the distance. We are a ministry that transcends challenges, for the one who made us more than winners.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” – Psalm 46:10