Alliance News Feed – My Life as a Medical Missionary
by Sheree Lynch, a marketplace ministries worker in Honduras
Centro Medico Monte Sinai is the culmination of a lifetime of dreams, a lifetime of placing one foot in front of the other and trusting that God was going before me. As I look back, I see the faces of so many servants of Christ who touched my life. The Lord used them to prepare me for the journey that He had planned.
I grew up in The Christian and Missionary Alliance and at the tender age of five announced that I would be a medical missionary. I could never have begun to dream where that journey would take me.
Twenty-five years ago, while still finishing my medical training in the United States, the Lord opened the door for me to volunteer in Honduras. That summer turned into 10 years of volunteering, becoming a part of a local family and confirming in my heart that I had found the place where the Lord was leading me to serve.
Fifteen year ago, upon completion of my training in family medicine in the States, I was given the amazing opportunity to serve the people and the country I had grown to love, while continuing with The Alliance through marketplace ministries. As a single missionary navigating the medical licensing and residency requirements in Honduras, my adventure had just begun.
Children in Need
I continued to serve with a nonprofit with which I had volunteered, adding to my training in cardiology as I began to see the tremendous need for timely diagnosis and corrective surgery for children with congenital heart disease and adults with acquired heart disease. I began to connect with local specialists and international agencies that facilitate corrective surgeries for children in need.
I plunged headlong into expanding my training by attending conferences in Honduras, Panama, Nicaragua, and the United States. We began to send an average of 10 children to the United States each year for corrective heart surgery, and another 10 children annually received corrective surgery with visiting brigades. My life and my heart became forever linked with the children and the families I served and the Honduran family the Lord had given me.
Opening a Medical Center
More than eight years ago, the Lord granted me another of my heart’s desires when He brought an amazing man into my life to walk this journey together. A man after God’s own heart with a tremendous love for the lost, my husband supported and added to my dreams to better serve the people of Eastern Honduras.
Just over three years ago, after five years of marriage and with two young children, we were asked to dream of our ideal setting to serve and to dream big. Today, thanks to brothers and sisters in Christ who share our heart for the people of Honduras, Centro Medico Monte Sinai (Mount Sinai Medical Center) is a reality. My husband chose the name because it was on Mount Sinai that the Lord revealed Himself to His people.
Today our clinic provides 24-hour emergency care, outpatient care with nine different specialties, inpatient acute care, and surgical care. My husband, Juan Carlos, trained as an anesthesiologist, directs our surgical center together with a full-time general surgeon and eight additional sub-specialty surgeons.
I continue to care for patients in our outpatient clinic, focusing mainly on adult patients with diabetes, arterial hypertension, renal failure, and heart disease. I continue to coordinate the pediatric surgical program, connecting with cardiac surgeons in Honduras and the United States. We have been blessed to be surrounded by many colleagues, staff, family, and friends who share our vision.
Privileged to Serve
Life is not without its challenges, but no adventure is. We serve a population of more than 500,000, 65 percent of whom live at or near the poverty line. We are located four hours from the capital and its resources. We confront challenging situations daily: black outs, lack of medications, political unrest, limited resources, and unlimited needs.
Raising two young children and juggling the roles of parent/spouse/physician/missionary is one of our greatest challenges. Yet it is the Lord who led us to this place, placed this dream in our hearts, and provided for our needs above and beyond anything we could think or imagine.
It is a privilege to be called. It is a privilege to serve, and I can’t wait to see what the Lord has in store for tomorrow. Dreams come true—pain of loss, joy of serving, and anticipation of what is to come. We serve an awesome God.
Source: Alliance News Feed – My Life as a Medical Missionary