By Rebecca Houweling

Village Global: Medical Mission

My name is Rebecca. I’m a pediatric nurse with a heart for global medical mission. I felt called into nursing while on a high school mission trip to Guatemala.

A nurse in a public hospital there said, “There is always a piece of the puzzle missing, whether it’s nurses, doctors, supplies or medication”. In that moment I knew that I wanted to be one of those pieces, and more than that, help so those pieces wouldn’t remain missing.

Since then I have been incredibly blessed to go on over 10 medical mission trips. On each of those tripsI have seen injustice, oppression, and brokenness. I have felt the distress of my deep desire for things to be different — for justice to flow in those places, for inequality in regard to things we take for granted like access to medical care, education, food and water to be destroyed.

One can be left broken, as I still am at times, but one can also be very hopeful in these places. God is moving and has given us the knowledge, skills, and resources to live out Isaiah 1:17, “Learn to do good; seek justice, correct oppression; bring justice to the fatherless, plead the widow’s cause.”

I currently serve with Village Global as the medical liaison and am furthering my education through a Master’s of Nursing in Global Health. While finishing up my undergraduate nursing degree and working on a nutrition project in Guatemala, I became sick to the point of being bedbound. I was in Canada, where medical care is abundant and free, and yet answers were nowhere close to being found.

I questioned God. I was mad at Him. I prayed for healing and for months remained stuck in bed. I thought He had called me to be an extension of His hands and feet through nursing, but it seemed impossible. But God is a God of the impossible and not only gave me back my health, but through my own health journey, drew me closer to Him and gave me an even deeper passion to help bring medical care to places that are much less fortunate than Canada. He placed more of His heart in mine.

Medical mission is much more than just bandaging a wound, treating malaria, or even saving a dying child’s life. It is God’s heart. It is reaching the lost, the vulnerable, the poor, and the under-served. I believe wholeheartedly that God prepares the way when we take this step out of our comfort zone. When we leave places of material and medical richness and go to places of need, He provides abundantly. He provides for those we are serving and provides for us.

God has given me some big dreams. Dreams where inequities are destroyed. But I am not naïve to think that they can happen without hard work or without God. If you are wondering if international work is for you, believe me when I say that a trip, although it may only be a week or two in length, holds rich, deep impact. Impact that goes further than we could imagine. Through health education, capacity building with local health professionals, and joining key stakeholders in each location where we serve medically, I believe God will bring these dreams to fruition. Would you prayerfully consider joining me?

If you are interested in serving in medical missions globally, click here to apply for current trips to Haiti, Uganda or Nepal. Stay tuned for future trips to Iraq and Guatemala.

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