God’s Work in and Through Oriesa in Ensenada
Oriesa Wiyono, a young medical student, who is currently working as paramedic in San Diego wrote a beautiful piece about what God did in and through her while she was in Ensenada, Mexico. I asked her if I could share what she wrote on my blog, and she agreed, so I’ve copied it below. You can check out her blog site here…
Dawn, Hannah and I had such a wonderful experience while we were in Ensenada with the team from Redeemer Presbyterian Church and La Nueva Jerusalen. I love reading how God used the trip to touch of the lives of those that went on the trip.
Jose is this 5′0 foot, brown skin, hazel eyed man with this funny and bright infectious personality about him. When I had told him that I drive an ambulance in the states, he tells me that I should drive “rapido y furioso” like the Fast and Furious movie as he proceeds to make an artificial honk and wail siren sound. Jose lives with his wife, his daughter with down syndrome, he serves as an elder at his church and he currently attends school in order to obtain his high school degree in hopes that he may return to the seminary program he once was a part of. During our seafood dinner near the Ensenada Coast, he shared with me stories about misfortunes along with blessings in his life. While on the topic of medical missions, he proceeded to ask a question that would greatly impact my perspective during the trip.
“…would you rather share the gospel or provide medical care for the people in Ensenada?”
“Provide medical care,” I said, “I.. uh….it’s easier.”
As I answered, I felt a sheer rush of guilt that had gripped my heart. A team nurse on the trip named Patricia had shared with me that the one big thing that we are unable to do in heaven that we can do on earth is to share the gospel, but here I was, afraid, timid and worried about the sake of my comfort and embarrassment. I felt my cheeks go flush as they often did. I’d been exposed and made bare to a man who I barely knew, who barely knew me. I gritted my teeth and told Jose that I was scared to share the gospel because a rejection–to me feels as if someone was to reject my whole entire being and essentially everything that I live for. I mean… it took me 22 years to understand such a backwards paradigm of love, how am I to share it with someone in such a short period of time? But as I thought about it on the drive home, the concept of His love is so simple. It really is.
The past 22 years of my life has been Christ teaching me this one thing–Jesus loves me, but it is I that has rejected Him countless times, spat in His face, ran away, crucified Him, sought pleasures in worldly things and treasured His gifts more than I treasured my Savior. How selfish of me.. I took advantage of His love and I ran away like a shameless robber.
I then remembered that Jesus said in John 15:18-21:
If the world hates you, remember that is has hated me first. The world would love you as one of its own if you belonged to it, but you are no longer part of the world. I chose you to come out of the world so it hates you. Do you remember what I told you? A slave is not greater than the master. Since they persecuted me, naturally they will persecute you. And if they had listened to me, they would listen to you. They will do all this to you because of me, for they have rejected the one who sent me.
Jose then told me that we are all brothers and sisters in the body of Christ. And because of that we have this mission to extend the same kind of grace and rejoice in the glory of Christ with believers as we all have a calling to bring one another and the wanderers back home with the different gifts and talents He has equipped us with. Fear is inevitable, but don’t use it as an excuse to not extend the gift of salvation to someone else. He further reminded me that rejection is normal because as one body and as siblings, we fight, reject one other, spew out venom without words, take each other for granted (the provision of free medical care), we take the toys we want from each other’s grasp and we run–much like how we all have done to Christ…
But all the more, this ought to point me to the big picture of the magnitude and grace of His love.
You know.. if I were in their shoes, if I was lost, wondering and searching, I think I would like to know this:
“Jesus told the story of the Prodigal Son to make a simple point: never mind what you’ve done, just come home.” – Unka Glen
With that said, everything we have done in Mexico is up to the Lord. Despite being able to see 445 patients in 4 days and being able to say that 40 people came to Christ, our works and efforts through calling these people, inviting them out to church, providing medical care, praying for them and following up with them are futile without Him. So how many will actually come back, attend the church and further their relationship with their Savior? None of us will know for sure, but we know God is always good and in Him, all things are possible.
So as I sit here having done nothing to live such a privileged life, I realize that I would often think back to the degree of injustice and poverty and it makes me so angry. However, being able to hear stories like Jose’s and just being able to see such an impoverished city has definitely opened my eyes to the Lord’s heart of compassion for the sick, widows, orphans and those in need. Im learning to be thankful for every drop of clean running water that I have, paved roads, clean toilets, insulated housing etc.. but it’s so easy to get caught up in safety, security and all these little things that we have or don’t have when at the core of everything–Jesus is all you need. He loves you. He will sustain you. He is enough.
The past 4 days in Ensenada have been humbling to say the least. When I was able to see the provision of medical care alongside the sharing of the gospel, I was so touched and that’s when I understood the power of short term missions. When I had returned, a lot of people asked me the purpose of giving someone high BP meds for two weeks–but see, that misses the purpose entirely. The mission had always been and will always be to share the gospel. Medical treatment lasts for a while, but Jesus heals for a lifetime.
That’s all there is to it.