While in the Dominican Republic, our team was able to go into the local hospital to minister. I have never been a fan of this and I was completely drained from lack of sleep, body aches, and a very clouded brain; but to give my team members the experience, I adopted an attitude that showed differently. The team got some gift bags ready that included toothpaste, soap, lotion and a Bible and we loaded the van. The girls went into the maternity ward and the men into a room that had a bunch of guys lying on beds.
The common factor was that the men in this room all had motorcycle accidents. As we began to minister, we started in a corner and began working our way to the door. Our first encounter was an older gentlemen that had been waiting for weeks to have his fibula replaced. After listening to him and praying for him, 10 minutes have passed. As I looked up, I saw there were still so many patients to go through and I was already very tired of being out of house, out of nation, and out of sorts. I braced myself and walked with the team and kept listening and kept praying.
At the end of the room, there was a police officer that also requested some attention and prayer. Because our team was focusing on the last patient, I spoke to the officer. This was already over an hour into our visit. My feet were tired, my head hurt and I was somewhat done. Yet I gave this officer my attention.
I thought that the officer was assigned to the room so order would be maintained since the patients all had some relative or friend waiting with them. I believed that maybe disruptions occurred and this was the way the hospital controlled any stress by the patients and their guests. So I decided to confirm with the officer if this was true by asking him, what he was doing here. He told me that he was there watching the guy that the team was talking to. He said that individual was involved in an armed robbery that left him shot 5 times in various locations. That young individual would be going to the prison I just visited yesterday.
I was amazed at how the patient/soon to be inmate was placed with other members of society. After I prayed for the officer, I got up and got closer to the last guy whom was there due to his crime. I kind of cut-off one of my team members and said to him, “You made a decision that brought you here. This decision has affected your social ties, now you have people visiting you due to the wounds you have. You made a decision that will now place you in Nahajo, the prison I visited yesterday.” The smile he had as he was talking to the team was now straight as he listened to me.
I told him that the decision he made will land him in prison but doesn’t have to be the ultimate decision he makes. He has an opportunity to turn to God and accept Him right now. I said that he also doesn’t have to do it now, that he could wait to do it inside of prison. I said that I was just there and there are many men who have already made that decision and could help him through it. My basic message to him was, “God’s not done.”
This was one of the last ways I ministered while in the DR. The thing was that my body was done, my mind was done, my whole person was done. Yet I decided to change my attitude and present my tired self to the needs that would be placed in front of me. Because I gave from my weakness, the Lord provided so well.
I don’t know if this young man turned from his ways. I do know that I stayed on the path by presenting the Way to him.
Jesus says to us all, “I am the Way…” To me this means we are to follow Him and present ourselves to the needs that we will face. Moses was called to go to Pharaoh and demand from him the Lord’s people yet Moses struggled with the “going” part. He asked, “who am I?” We all can ask that question, we all can say why we shouldn’t go, yet Moses accepted the task when he understood that it wasn’t God telling him to go, it was God telling him to come with Him. The Lord tells him, “I will be with you.”
Whether you feel the Lord telling you to start something, or to finish it, know He isn’t sending you alone. He will be with you. He is there first, visiting way before you.