Team Nicaragua: Clinic Day 5

Dec. 16, 2019

A Work of Body and Spirit

Today was the last day of our clinic week. We spent the morning serving patients in one of the poorest areas of Nicaragua. It was an overwhelming yet incredibly fulfilling day.

Serving on the provider team as a PA student, I put pressure on myself to see patients quickly and to always get the right diagnosis and treatment plan in order to prove my efficiency to the doctors and my team members. Yet I forget how sometimes the most important moments as a healthcare provider involve matters of the heart more than matters of the brain.

My first three patients of the day were clinically depressed. One woman told me how she felt so alone and that she considered taking her life. Another told me she just couldn’t handle the verbally abusive relationship she was stuck in. And the third told me that she knew God loved her but that she couldn’t truly feel His love.

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I did what I could to listen, talk and sometimes medicate these patients. But I utilized the power of prayer today above all else. I will never forget the feeling of holding their hands, sensing their bodies shake as they sobbed and hearing the sound of the translators as they communicated my prayers in Spanish. I prayed that the people of Nicaragua would feel seen, heard, known and loved by a God who is all-powerful and compassionate, and as I spoke those prayers, I felt something move inside me. Perhaps it was a reminder that I, too, was seen, heard, known and loved. I needed to be reminded because honestly, the Lord has felt distant from me for a while now.

I can never express my gratitude for the people of Nicaragua, their culture, their stories, their hospitality. I will never forget the beautiful smiles of playful children in the streets, the neck kisses from the elderly patients, and the “God bless you” from the local team members. We came to bring change to Nicaragua, but I believe that Nicaragua has brought greater change to us.

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I’m not sure where my life is headed next, but I know I’ll be back to Nicaragua!

+ Ashley Stout, PA-S, Georgia

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937 Patients Later

Today was our last day of clinic in Nicaragua. We went to one of the poorest villages in the area and saw over 150 patients. You could feel the power and presence of Jesus in the church that we setup clinic in. Hands full of women were prayed over and knew that God was with them in their moment of struggle and pain. We all walked away from clinic today with hearts full of joy and love over flowing for the people of Nicaragua.

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It has been an amazing five days of clinic. This week we have been able to see and treat 937 patients. What an experience it has been. We have laughed, cried, & bonded beyond words. We went from strangers to friends and friends to family in a matter of 6 days. I can’t wait to spend our last day on the beach tomorrow with this new family God has strategically placed in my path.

+ Jenson Crawford, Non-Medical Volunteer, South Carolina