Each year, as we host our medical clinics, we are greeted by many patients as we arrive for our day’s work. We have devised methods to try to keep the process of checking in patients orderly. One method is to hand out number cards to the people that are present when we arrive. This insures that they have their “ticket” to get seen for the day and don’t get displaced by someone more aggressive that shows up later. In the past, these number cards were sharpie numbers written on a note card. At times, when some of the note cards were lost, we had random pieces of cardboard numbers. We noticed last year that some of the cards became forged. We even had people buying forged numbers to get a place in line. Also, we had to put the cards back in number order prior to each clinic. This got us thinking, that there had to be a better way. It needed to be something that could not be duplicated or forged. I had thought of something as simple as poker chips with numbers written on them.
As we thought about this, we came back to what we know is the most important element of the clinics. That, of course, is sharing the gospel with the people that come to the clinics. As we thought through this, God began to give us an idea for our number cards. Then, as the idea came together, he helped us find someone to produce them.
Each card is a full size sheet of paper that has been laminated. On one side, it has the Due Unto Others logo, the Renewal Health/Wentz logo and a number.
These cards are numbered from 1-200 as we average about 200 patients per clinic. On the other side we have 3 pictures and bible verses that can lead a person through the gospel presentation, even if they can’t read very well.
Picture #1 shows a man that is separated from a Holy God. It demonstrates that good works, education and religion cannot bridge the gap between man and God.
- Romans 3:23 “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”
- Galatians 2:16 “Know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified.”
- Romans 6:23 “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”.
- Hebrews 9:27 “Just as people are destined to die once, and after that to face judgement”,
Picture #2 shows a cross coming in to the gap between man and God as a bridge to God.
- 1 Corinthians 15:3-4 “For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures, 4 that he as buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the scriptures”.
- John 14:6 “Jesus answered, ‘I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”.
The third picture shows the man crossing the “Cross Bridge” to reach God. The man now has eternal life, he will not be judged, and free from damnation.
- John 5:24 “Very truly I tell you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be judged but has crossed over from death to life”.
As the patient is waiting for their medicines, one of the pastors goes through this card with them.
Then they are allowed to take the card home. Hopefully to share with others. These cards have been universally well received, have helped to lead many to Christ and we hope they will be a witnessing tool in each of these villages for years to come!
We are coming down the home stretch of our Mud in Your Eyes mission trip for 2015. We have 1 clinic remaining in Migina on Friday. We have scheduled 56 people for eye surgeries next week. About 50% of these are cataract surgeries. It has been interesting this year. The people that we have discovered, while working clinics, that needed some extra medical care, have almost exclusively been people with eye problems.
When we decided to emphasize eye care this year, I thought that we would mainly be finding and treating people with cataracts. We have found many people with cataracts, but we have also found other eye problems. So in addition to offering surgically restored vision to Ugandans, we are also preventing vision loss to others.
It is going to be amazing on Monday morning. All of the people that we have determined that needed a surgery, will show up at the eye hospital at 8:00 am. At this point, this number will be at least 56, but potentially as many as 70 people, getting care that they could not get otherwise. Hospitals do not feed the patients or take care of the patients beyond medical and nursing care. So our main job for next week will be trying to help feed and coordinate the transportation of these 70 patients and their one family member that they bring along to help them.
Please continue to keep our team and these patients in your prayers. We are "counting" on it.