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Eyes & Hearts

Holly Friesen on November 15, 2010

 It is difficult to capture with a few words & pictures what two full weeks of village ministry is like. But, perhaps I can wet your appetite for the real thing and you can join us next time!
Our team~
Dr. Oakman – this was Dr. Oakman’s 5th trip to Ukraine! Maybe one of these days we will get him to stay! I enjoyed the chance to get to know him & experience his sense of humor as well as his heart for ministry.

Sara & the Cummins family – I enjoyed sharing my home with Sara & getting to know Steve, Lisa, & Daniel Cummins. Their help during our first week of clinics was much appreciated & I know the children enjoyed the afterschool program that Sara & Lisa put together.

Translators with a heart for the ministry  - one example: 

Dr. Oakman told me that he had given his translator Victor a pair of reading glasses. On the last day when we were running low on glasses, Victor gave his new pair of reading glasses to a patient.

Local pastors, church workers, regular clinic assistants & missionary colleagues  - It takes a lot of people & hard work to make these clinics happen & we are grateful for all those who pitched in to make these weeks of ministry possible.

Our task~
Eye care
Medical care

Evangelistic ministryChildren’s ministry

Blend of *special moments & difficult moments~

*Hearing Pastor Lonya preach – I have heard him preach before but this was the first time that I could understand enough to follow the sermon. His passion for the lost was so evident & he definitely has a gift for using practical illustrations that his audience can relate to as he challenges them to consider their eternal destination.

*Opportunities to share Christ - Many of the patients we see suffer from anxiety &/or depression. They will share with me how they have recently lost a spouse or a child or the pain of watching a family member struggle with alcoholism, loss of work, etc. Pray that the seeds of the gospel that were planted during these weeks of ministry will continue to bear fruit.

Sharing the gospel with a lady who is fighting cancer – but having her say that she has her own coping mechanisms and is doing ok.

Having a middle aged mother tell me that within the last couple of years she has had 9 abortions because she cannot afford to have any more children.

*Salvation – I know of at least one young lady that I treated who accepted Christ! We talked briefly about spiritual things during the consultation & I encouraged her to visit more with the pastor. The pastor told me at the end of the day that she came to talk to him & ended up praying to receive Christ!!!

*Getting to tell my patients “these medicines are free to you, they are a gift from God!”

Wishing I could do more to meet some of the physical needs – but realizing that this life is but a vapor & meeting spiritual needs is so much more important!

*Hearing a pastor say that the work has been very slow & at times he has been ready to quit – but our coming today & the number of people who came were a great encouragement to him. (That was good to hear after an exhausting day in which I saw more patients than I had seen in any one day up to that point!) 

*Being kissed on both cheeks by a grateful patient!

To paraphrase Dr. Oakman’s words ~The hours are bad (we had some very long, exhausting days), it doesn’t pay well (although we did receive some apples, fresh milk, and a few other goodies), the conditions are poor (the day without an outhouse made us more appreciative of the day when the outhouse was missing the door & roof) BUT the pension plan is out of this world!!! However, as I hope you can see, the joys don’t just await us in the future! I think I must have one of the best jobs in the world!