While in college, I had the opportunity to go on a one-week short-term Medical missions trip to Mexico with a friend's church. At the time I was in English major. In Mexico, because our time was short and resources were limited, we were not necessarily able to "fix" or "heal" all of the people's ailments. Yet, what struck me the most was how the people there were so open and welcoming to the doctors on our team and were open spiritually as a result of being cared for physically. I decided then that I wanted to go into medicine so I could serve God and share about Him with others using medicine as a means to open doors even in areas that were normally closed to the Gospel.
As soon as I graduated from college, I went on my 1st overseas missions trip to an unreached area to Turkey with a group of other college students from my campus fellowship. We were there formally to lead an English camp and do homestays with Turkish families as part of a Turkish-American exchange program. We were in a town where we were the 1st foreigners most people had ever met. I quickly fell in love with the people and the culture and despite language barriers, we sang, danced, ate, and drank endless cups of coffee and tea with each other and shared about our lives with each other. On our last day there, I burst into tears as we said our farewells as I felt overwhelmed by my love for the people there. I cried out to God and said, "God, when we leave, who will tell them about you? How will they know?" God spoke to me quietly in my heart and said, "Meredith, the love you feel for these people is only a tiny fraction of my love for them. My love for them is infinitely greater..." With that, I started to understand God's heart for His people. The more I understood God's heart for His people, the more I felt He was inviting me to be a part of reaching the unreached. God opened my eyes and my heart on this trip. Once I returned home, I had such a hunger to know and learn more about God's kingdom vision and the unreached, so I took a Perspectives Course. Through the Perspectives course, I felt God's Word come alive in a new way and I felt confirmed that He was calling me to go to unreached people groups through studying His Word. I realized that God's call for us to make disciples of all nations was His vision all throughout the Bible, not just in the "great commission." I continued to seek to know God's heart more and to be involved in His kingdom work in continuing to go on short-term trips to unreached areas, etc. I applied to and got accepted to medical school with the desire to serve in medical missions in the future and that motivation to serve God kept me going through the difficult times in medical school as well as residency. As I work as a physician currently, I feel God continuing to call me.
I plan on using my training, skills in my healthcare profession to open doors to sharing the Gospel with others. On my recent short-term trip to Asia in July 2018, though I was not there on a formal "medical mission" trip, I was reminded that God uses my skills, training, who He created me to be in unique ways and helps open doors through the healthcare profession. Though I was on a vision trip, I was invited to a preschool that was in among an unreached people group and was asked to teach a health talk so I taught the children, their parents, and teachers about hygiene and oral care and healthy diet. I also led a Q&A session for the parents and we were able to have good discussions related to health concerns they had. I also was able to go to a single mom's home for pregnant women and orphanage to teach them about health as well and about prenatal care and health-related to pregnancy and raising a baby. Just the fact that I was a doctor helped open doors to share.
1. Ensuring the physical, mental, emotional, spiritual health of missionaries on the field as I help with screening, advising regarding any health conditions, prevention care, consultations, counseling as needed, etc.
2. Contributing overall to the well-being of our teams on the field so that all the teams can be as effective and healthy as possible
3. Establishing relationships and building bridges of trust with locals whether it be through individual care or healthcare training so that we can help open doors to share the Gospel.