Medicine For the Soul

By Marty Baas, Aug 16, 2018
Natasha, nicely dressed, sat in the waiting room at a medical clinic in Lavantille, Trinidad. As I sat talking to her, she told me her story of divorce nine years before in which her “fake” Christian husband gained custody of their three boys. But because her work is right in front of the boys’ house, she sees them daily.

I had come on this medical missions trip hoping for just such an opportunity. There is always a need for non-medical people like myself on these trips—people who are willing to help by simply listening, and by sharing the truths of the gospel.

Natasha went on to explain that she had just come out of a relationship and that her life was still quite messy. She said she had been a Christian, but had “backslid.” I asked if she had a Bible. She did not, but said she was planning to ask her mom for one for Christmas.

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Opening my own Bible, I began to explain how important it is to read it and talk with God like a Father, suggesting that she begin each day with the Psalms, and then read a Proverb. I also suggested she read in the New Testament—especially the Gospels—so she could know Jesus and how He wants her to live.

Knowing that what we get for free we do not always value, I suggested that she could save a few dollars each week from her paycheck and in three months she would have enough money to buy her own Bible. We prayed and I encouraged her to get back into the church even without the fancy shoes and dress (her excuse). And so we parted ways.

A “Chance” Encounter
Several months later, on a return trip to Trinidad at a different clinic, I glanced over and recognized this young lady who was looking right at me. She said, “Hi Marty, I did exactly as you told me to do!” Then she reached in her purse and came out with a study Bible! “Yes, I bought it and have been reading it. Now look at the front, I have marked my readings.” I saw a carefully marked chart showing how consistently she had been reading. And of course, like a good grandmother I ooohed and aaahed.

We chatted a little longer. She said that her husband was planning to take the boys to church. I asked if she was back in church. She replied “No, not yet.” So I pray for her—with great hope.

At MTW medical clinics, we see people whose physical needs often bring them into an encounter with the gospel. We are there to address the needs of the whole person, medical and spiritual, including the need to find supportive community in a local church. And this is why I love it. With each clinic, there is the opportunity to meet another Natasha.

Marty Baas is a retired MTW missionary who now serves as a medical missions volunteer.  This story was originally published in June 2013. 

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Pray that people will come to faith in Christ through our medical clinics, where we seek to do what Jesus did and care for those in need.

Pray for Francesca and others like her who receive medical care through MTW clinics. Pray that the care they receive would strengthen their faith in Christ.

Pray for a new initiative in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to hand deliver soap and provide education on disease prevention to 600 families in poverty-stricken communities. 

Pray that MTW medical trips would be used of God to provide much needed care and to draw men and women to faith in Christ. 

Pray for the young sexually-abused girls and adult survivors of childhood trauma in San Jose, Costa Rica, to find healing. Pray for the clinic workers who are proving much-needed counseling.

Pray for Muslims in West Africa who have been impacted by the Ebola virus to find hope in Jesus Christ.

Pray for the the Medical Campus Outreach team in Cusco, Peru, and for the medical and students at the clinic who are learning to practice medicine and hearing the gospel.

Give thanks for the work God is doing in South Asia in the wake of COVID lockdown relief. Ask God to grow the new believers who came to faith in Christ as a result.

Pray for those in the urban slums of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, who are struggling economically due to COVID-19 restrictions. 

Pray for ongoing ministry in the Suki community during COVID-19. Many day workers cannot work, and the church is having to find creative ways to minister. 


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