The Columns – February 2016

ServeGlobal1
ServeGlobal_Patterson

My daughter Ellen wanted to go on a medical mission trip to Quito, Ecuador with our Church. My main purpose in going was because Ellen needed a parent to go with her.

“What am I going to do?” This was the thought that kept running through my mind. As a psychiatrist, the MD behind my name wasn’t really going to help me in a country where there is limited follow-up care required for mental health needs. If I treat someone for anxiety or depression, the standard of care is to do so for at least a year. And we were there for one week! I wasn’t too worried about it because I asked God to lead, and I just followed. This always works!

I wasn’t sure what problems I would find, but I knew that the World Health Organization states that depression is one of the major causes of disability in the world, and has found that there is a huge gap in many underdeveloped countries between what mental disorders are present and what resources are available. This is definitely true for Ecuador.

What I found was that people there had the same problems that we have here. The impact of the changes in our society over the past 75 years have impacted their society, as well. There is anxiety, depression, abuse, and broken families, just like we have here. There is a deep need for Jesus there, just like there is here.

I was blessed to have a young lady named Marlena as a translator. She is also a psychotherapist in Quito as well as being a Christian that works with Compassion International and SIFAT. This was awesome because speaking to people, educating them, providing therapies other than medication, this was something that we could do.

Just ask anyone who went on that trip…there were so many “God thing” moments that I lost count. But I recall one of them distinctly. It was Kay, asking a question in one of our end-of-the-day get-togethers. She asked if we prayed with our patients. And that’s where God comes in, because after that, Marlena and I prayed with quite a few patients. What was amazing was that Marlena had the Prayer of Salvation memorized in Spanish.

Marlena and I spoke to many people over the week that we were there. We prayed with five people who accepted Christ as their savior. Watching this…watching the change that took place in the eyes of these people, and helping them to carry out that change in their lives…that’s what I was sent to do.

I’d never gone to Ecuador before, I’d never prayed for someone’s salvation before, and I’d never asked someone if they had accepted Jesus as their personal Lord and Savior before. I have now, and I will never be the same.

ASHLEY GOAD • Director of Global Missions • agoad@fumcshreveport.orgwww.firstserves.org/globalfacebook.com/fumcglobal • @GlobalFUMCInstagram – GlobalFUMCvimeo.com/firstshreveport

UPCOMING GLOBAL MISSIONS & EVENTS
Russian Mission Trip • February 13 – 23, 2016
Costa Rica Family Mission Trip • March 26 – April 2, 2016
Local & Global Missions Extravaganza • April 22, 2016
Haiti Mission Trip • May 27 – June 3, 2016 (REGISTER NOW!)
Russian Mission Trip • June 2016
Costa Rica Youth Mission Trip • July 9-16, 2016
Romania Partnership Development Trip • September 2016
Haiti Mission Trip • October 2016
Missions Launch Lunch • November 13, 2016
Ecuador Medical Mission Trip • November 19 – 26, 2016
Uganda Mission Trip • December 27, 2016 – January 6, 2017

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