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After hearing a speech by CW, an orthopaedist who attended a medical team in China, I took the courage to join CCSM’s ministry in China even though I had no professional medical background at all. I am just an ordinary mother, no big deal. However, I was spiritually fired up by this passage in II Corinthians 8:12 “For if the willingness is there, the gift is acceptable according to what one has, not according to what one does not have.”
That’s back in 2013. A small step in faith has since opened the door to dream-fulfilling adventures. Teamed up with other like-minded people from around the world, we forged comradeship en route to our battlefields, be it cultural exchange, intercession, or mercy team. Over the past five years, my life seemed to peak and bliss around these spectacular journeys that are witnessed and aspired by those around me, especially my daughter J.
J has repeatedly asked if she could go on one trip with me. She had an interview with CCSM for approval. Everything was fine until she dished out her unique condition - she’ll go if there is a flushing toilet available on site!
Growing up in this blessed land of have-s, how can you blame her for such a humble request? The memory of school camp long-drops had long gone. Almost everything in house is Made-in-China now, including toilet pan. How could the Chinese not have it themselves? You see, the water-deficient inland China, far away from the prosperous, glossy, and advanced modern China, is much less known to the world at large.
(Underground Water Reservoir in Gansu)
So she waited, and waited. When my reading partner LC decided to join me for this June team, it finally dawned on J that if the circumstances do not change, then she’d better brace herself to deal with it.
You might wonder what can she do in the one-week 3-village mobile clinics? She sure has an accounting degree, but she can neither write nor count pills due to fine motor difficulty. Assigned to out-patient registry first, she soon escaped from it claiming “it’s too boring just to press the button of a blood pressure gauge!” Wandering to pharmacy to help with packaging, she described her first-day ordeal, “Half of the pills I counted were scattered on the floor.” And the second day, “The label stickers I put on the prescription bags were all twisted. I just couldn’t peel and paste it straight. I am useless. I don’t think I would ever come back again.”
But the pharmacy co-workers spared her to retrieve all lost pills from the ground, they simply declared “We have plenty enough to give away.” Could such an “always trusts, always perseveres” love-oriented environment sustain her to press on with her testing ministry?
On the 3rd day, LC told me J’s labelling skills improved by leaps and bounds. Now she could walk with her head up to inspect other divisions. Moreover, I hadn’t heard a word about her toilet phobia complex.
On the 4th day while I was translating for Dr. D, a family physician from Australia, a rural farmer came in. After routine check-up of her un-wellness, Dr. D noticed that the patient tended to weep easily. She furthered her quest into possible depression causes and inquired about the patient’s family. The reply was astonishing, “Can you help me to find a nursing home for my daughter?”
After a hard day’s work, Dr. D & Dr. G posed with us as the truck is loading up.
It triggered a series of chain reactions…
Hours later and approved by local authorities, we were racing in a car driven by one of the local rural doctors heading toward the patient’s house. Terraced fields layered along the winding hills. Summer greenery could not conquer the arid yellow soils. Isolated in this remote corner of loess plateau, a 20+ year-old girl with cerebral palsy awaited both J and me.
Not many visitors for her, let alone from another part of the world, N-N (the name literally means Able-Able) was so nervous and excited to meet us that she couldn’t help but giggle anxiously! Standing in a waist-high wooden frame cage commissioned by her father and improvised by a carpenter, she welcomed J with beaming smiles. Her uncontrollable limbs got stiffer. But that didn’t dampen her trembling yet clear and smart conversations. Because of immobility, she had never been to a school but has learned so much from her caring farmer family as well as from the TV set nearby. Only the addiction to the latter had now left her with myopia.
We shared with each other the common struggle a family with disabled children all go through. Her grandma, still sleeping with her each night in the living-bedroom, sighed that aging and her own deteriorating health made lifting N-N every now and then a mission impossible. Her mother revealed earlier in tears that keeping N-N at home would eventually cost her young brother wife-less. Who would marry him given the foreseeable burden of a bed-ridden sister? Hence a broken-hearted S.O.S. for a nursing home!
J’s complete schooling in New Zealand and 7-year newspaper run were the highlights of their conversation. Poor hand coordination and walking imbalance, an inherent impairment to J, hasn’t stopped her from pursuing a life to the fullest, including a volunteer trip like this. J encouraged N-N to learn some computer and mobile phone skills, “then you can we-chat with me!” Since the grannies are major caretakers for N-N as the parents are busy with farm work, I advised them to let N-N do whatever she is capable of, and gradually let go of some daily self care to herself. “Tough Love” plus rehabilitation are the key to her future growth and the entire family needs to work as a team to make it happen.
Throughout the visit, we never mentioned what underlies our belief and where we draw our strength from. The presence of escorting officers forbade so. Nonetheless, J’s presence was sufficient evidence of what love can accomplish. While I alarmed the parents “Giving up the disadvantaged would only wipe out whatever you have laboured for so far,” J inspired N-N with her own motto “Never give up.”
Indeed a willing heart can change the status quo and God’s power is made perfect in weakness. How amazing a plan He has prepared for us! As the slogan on our team t-shirt says it all, “Because every life MATTERS”, I envision that N-N will eventually live out what her name implies, Able-Able!
Part of the medical team 2018: from Hong Kong, China, Netherlands, Australia, and New Zealand.
What are involved?
Crowd Control, Registration, Assessments, Physicians and translators, Lab and ECG, Patient Education, Pharmacy, Physiotherapy, Dental, Support (Clinic set-up, Float role, local dialect translators)
11-12 June Daily mobile clinics at Dang Xian Village
13-14 June Daily mobile clinics at Yang Ji Village
15-16 June Daily mobile clinics at Tai Ping Villag
11-16 June General surgery and eye surgery at Hui Ning Hospital
August ~ Dong Xiang Village.
|( 心情隨筆｜心情日記 )|