Even with the numerous setbacks, the ground was fertile in this arid, yet humid, semi-costal town. The community was receptive to The Gospel, and many seeds were sown. This area was plagued with a belief of “works-based” Christianity. These people felt like though they had turned from The Lord that their good works, their kindness, and their humility would earn them a spot in heaven. Sadly, these people felt like their works held more weight than Jesus Christ hanging on the cross.
This village was also plagued with many people who had fallen away from Christ. When asked for an explanation of why, it always circled back to their actions and away from the love of Christ. It breaks our heart to see these people so broken by their past indiscretions that they feel as if the Savior of the Universe/the Alpha and Omega/the Beginning and End is not able to overcome/forgive their faults. Our God is a loving God. We are His children. He will never turn his back on us. He is the light of the world, who stepped down into darkness, and for that I am eternally grateful.
In the medical realm, there were a few intriguing cases. We had a post-gestational female, who had just delivered her child 17 days earlier, who presented with abdominal pains. We also had a very, very sick neonate whose condition can best be described as “day to day.” Another case was intriguing not from the pathology displayed, but by how he physically presented. Behind the building in which we held the clinic, there was a massive construction project underway (ironically to build a medical clinic). One medical station was situated outside, and this man literally jumped the fence asking to be seen during his lunch break. In the end, he presented with classic presentation of gastritis/gastric ulcers, and he was given treatment. However, during that break he heard The Gospel of Christ. That was more important that any method of GI treatment that he could be given.
All in all, San Cristobal presented many challenges, but it can be considered a success. In statistics, we saw roughly 90 patients medically, 15 in the eye station, and 10 in physical therapy. We also sent teams out later in the afternoon not to treat medical illnesses, but instead to treat spiritual illness through evangelism. We are fighting short term physical battles with bouts of medication, but the eternal battles are being fought daily with the word of Christ. I write this thankful and blessed for the wondrous cross; without that, there is no reason to be here. Thank you all for your continued prayers and support. We have 3 more clinic days left, and with the strength of Christ, we will conquer evil—one patient at a time. In conclusion, what can wash away my sin? Nothing, nothing, nothing but the blood of Jesus.