Alliance News Feed – Pursuing God’s Sovereign Plan
by an Alliance international worker serving in the Middle East
After 15 years of practicing occupational therapy (OT) in the United States, I became an Alliance international worker in a country where OT didn’t exist. In 2001, I started offering free services, but seven years later I was beginning to burn out.
I had a full caseload of clients daily. One night, I sat on my couch, tired and frustrated, and asked the Lord, “Is this all there is? I was doing this in the States. Is this what missions will look like for me?”
Immediately, I heard Him chuckle and say very clearly, “No, this isn’t all there is.” Then He gave me a vision. I saw a big building with a verse over the entryway and many people coming to it.
He said, “I want you to open a Christian Rehab Training Clinic that will include occupational, physical, and speech therapy and mental health counseling.”
I physically shook in fear because of what He was asking me to do. I didn’t believe I was capable. None of these services were readily available in this country. Also, there were only about 1,000 Jesus followers because these people mostly practice the majority religion.
The Lord led me to Daniel 10, where an angel told the prophet not to fear the vision because the Lord was with him. God gave me peace about it, and I took the vision to my team for their blessing and affirmation.
The Lunch Bunch
In 2012, I opened an OT clinic, the first in this nation. In total, we served approximately 125 clients, 90 percent of whom were children.
Our staff had two groups of clients—children who came one-hour a day, two to three times a week, and a group of six young adults with developmental disabilities who came every day from 10:30 to 3:00. We always ate lunch with them, so we named them the Lunch Bunch.
We established a culture of prayer in the clinic, especially with the Lunch Bunch. Before we ate, someone thanked the Lord for the meal and interceded for anyone in the group who needed prayer. Also, I often prayed for the clients with their parents. Most of the Lunch Bunch is eager to pray to the One who answers their prayers as they have seen His faithfulness in doing so.-
The year after I started the clinic, a private health college started promoting its new OT program. I spoke to the director; he invited me to join the staff, and I readily accepted.
I had the first-year students do their initial 13-week placement at the clinic. Not only were they exposed to all we did at the clinic, but they also experienced our posture of prayer toward the One who loves and cares for them. They respected the mealtime prayers and would read from God’s Word, asking the clients questions about what they had heard.
Holding onto Hope
Unfortunately, the Ministry of Health shut us down because I didn’t have a license in this nation to operate an OT clinic, which didn’t exist until we opened ours.
We were forced to stop treating our one-hour clients, but I didn’t have the heart to tell the Lunch Bunch they couldn’t come anymore. They continue to attend as a social group. We still have the freshmen from the college coming to work with the Lunch Bunch, and we bring back our one-hour clients for free so these students can continue to practice their OT skills.
Our dream is still to establish a multi-disciplinary, Christian training clinic like the one in my vision. Pray that the Lord will open doors for us to realize His plan for our ministry.
Source: Alliance News Feed – Pursuing God’s Sovereign Plan