I currently am working in Potosí, Bolivia. I live about 14,000 ft above sea level in the middle of the Andes mountains and am a nurse in a small, outpatient clinic called Allinta Ruwana. We are a small team of 3 doctors and 2 nurses who do everything from everyday needs to managing complex medical issues, deliveries, small surgical procedures, and anything else that is within the scope of our abilities and resources.
I am also in charge of a Hospice program. We offer services for terminal patients in their own homes with visits from nurses, doctors, and volunteers that I have trained. Within the clinic, we are able to provide quality care to many people who are turned away from other institutions. We were also the only clinic that stayed open throughout the entirety of the Covid pandemic.
We have many patients who come to our clinic from rural areas and we offer services that can't be found elsewhere. Potosí is a mining town and we are one of the only places that offer pulmonary function tests. We also are the only institution that has the equipment to do audiometry, so we do all of the hearing tests for every hearing-impaired person who is applying for, or renewing, their disability identification cards.
Through each of these activities, we have the unique opportunity to demonstrate the love of Christ through compassionate medical care and to share the Gospel.
We also train and mentor medical professionals in our clinic. This past year we hired one young Bolivian physician who has been mentored for the past two years. It's such a blessing to see her not only provide fantastic care but also pray with her patients.
I've also had the wonderful blessing of seeing several of my Hospice patients and their family members accept Jesus Christ as their Savior.
We are the only institution that offers Hospice and it is our prayer that it will continue to grow so that we would be able to bring the good news of salvation into more people's homes.
I also teach nurses and other medical professionals a range of different topics including CPR and First Aid. Because I have my specialty in Oncology, I've also had the opportunity to teach several courses on Oncology as well as End of Life and Hospice and Palliative Care. These courses have opened many doors for our team, and we've seen God at work to spread the news about our clinic.
I've also been amazed to see the work of God through one of the Hospice volunteers that I disciple. We've been meeting weekly for over a year now doing Bible study together and caring for patients, and she is now praying about missions herself. I've seen her grow in her relationship with the Lord and have so enjoyed seeing her reach out to others and sharing the Gospel with patients and their families, as well as her own personal contacts.
There are several ways that spiritual outreach is done.
First, we often pray with our patients and share the Gospel with them during office visits. We have recently put a TV in our waiting room and have Christian music with lyrics playing in the background while people wait. We also are trying to creatively think of how else we can use this to share Bible verses, etc. We also have a team meeting once a week where we do a short devotional and spend time in prayer. We have several co-workers who are not believers, or very new in their faith, and so this has become a great time to encourage one another and to share the Gospel. We also mentor medical students and new physicians. This often provides opportunities for Gospel-centered conversations to demonstrate what it looks like to be a believer and a medical professional.
I am the Hospice Coordinator and have trained several volunteers (some with a medical background and others who are other types of professionals or students) which includes sharing the Gospel, how to do so, and why we believe that Hospice is important not only to meet the physical needs of the patient but also the spiritual needs of the patient as well as their family members.
During every Hospice visit (which for each patient could be once to twice a week) we share a small devotion or spend time reading the Bible, and spend time in prayer with the patient and their family members.
Praise God, I have seen Him move greatly through this outreach and have seen people come to know the Lord. I have also had the privilege to now mentor one of the volunteers for about a year and a half, and it’s such a blessing to see her reaching out and now sharing the Gospel with others.