“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.” Ezekiel 36:26
As an amazing benefit of working for MedSend for the last eight years, I have an increasing ability to perceive the world with new eyes – and even a new heart. One reason is that I know more about issues that affect cross-cultural healthcare workers, Christians and people in need around the world. I also care more, partly because I have gotten to know many MedSend healthcare professionals in person and through their reports. These Christ-followers have put their faith to the test, foregoing comfortable lifestyles to serve in difficult, and often dangerous, circumstances. I have learned from what they have to say and my own faith has been challenged and deepened.
That’s why I am thrilled to introduce “Going Deeper,” the MedSend blog. This new format allows us to share in greater depth with MedSend supporters and friends some of the best of what informs and inspires us in this ministry. With Valentine’s Day around the corner, we are inaugurating the blog with a reflection written by Melissa Molsee, a MedSend physician who is serving in a Christian hospital in West Africa.
I cried as I read her account for the first time. We do not expect or intend to break your heart with every blog post, however, the reality is MedSend’s 180-plus healthcare professionals face difficult situations and circumstances every day. They also experience miracles on a regular basis. God transforms bodies, minds and souls in a way that only He can do. We serve an awesome God and if you will slow down and look around, you will find Him at work in your life and all around you, just as He is throughout the world. Welcome to “Going Deeper.”
I pray you will be blessed as you ponder what it can mean to have “a heart of flesh.”
Break Our Hearts
I admitted her a few days earlier seizing repeatedly from cerebral malaria. Her tiny body worked so hard to breathe. To live. Her family watched over her the entire first night and asked me each time I passed by her bed, “She will be OK, right?”
The damage had been done prior to her arrival though and she never woke up. Instead, her condition worsened until she began to stop breathing. We worked tirelessly that last night, trying everything we could think of to support her. We prayed with her family. We kept a grim vigil with them, gently preparing them for the inevitable.
During rounds that next morning, she quit breathing for the last time. I managed to hold it together as we pulled the thin sheet over her little form. When the rest of her family arrived, I greeted her father.
“I’m sorry. We did everything we could but it was not enough. She is gone.” He was his usual stoic self.
“Inshallah. God has willed it.” I left them to gather their things but when I looked back, my eyes immediately filled with tears.
The father was helping load his daughter’s body onto his wife’s back for the last ride home. In life, this is a well-rehearsed event where children learn from an early age to cling and balance as the mother ties them onto her back with a pagne (a strip of cloth). In death, it takes another person to hold the body in place to be tied on. He gently helped secure her limp form and as he did so, I saw him swipe away the tears that were spilling from his eyes.
I quickly excused myself from the discussion I was having with another provider and went behind the hospital. Leaning against the wall, my own tears fell. My heart was exhausted and breaking. The song came to mind, “…break my heart, Lord, for what breaks Yours…” and I prayed this.
God knows. He sees. His heart is broken also by the pain, suffering, sin, unbelief, and despair all around us. Break my heart, Lord, but please help me learn to live with a broken heart because it hurts and it is broken daily.