Another season, rain in Cameroon - heat in Peru, and for many here the leaves are changing, not too fast in Southern California!
These changes help us mark time, as one season ends another begins. In our lives we also have seasons; childhood, youth, adulthood - and each has its own endings and beginnings.
I’ve worked for Mission Doctors since 1981 and over these years have seen many beginnings and endings - as one doctor prepares to serve for three years, another returns home, having completed three years. Now with the short-term program I get to witness this on escalated scale, doctors preparing to serve, going and returning in a month or two. There are things about these that are the same and things that are very, very different.
Those who serve for three years not only have the opportunity to develop relationships with the medical staff but often with the community. Their farewells cause them to leave a part of themselves behind. This can be both the sweetest part of long-term service and the most painful upon returning home.
Our hope is that this unique opportunity to share professional skills also provides the chance to make the connections that endure, that fills our hearts and changes our lives as well. For the doctors who are able to serve for one - three months our prayer is that the experience is fulfilling, that you will encounter the faith of those you serve, that you will feel that your time and efforts caring for those most in need was well worth the tremendous effort you make to do so… and of course we hope that this will be the first of many short-term missions, that may lead to a long-term mission!