[Ask a woman to present this first-person report.]
I am a lab technician at Mwanza Adventist Clinic. I examine blood or other body fluids for clues to a patient’s infection or illness. I love my job, and I know that my work is important, for it helps the doctor diagnose and treat a patient. But it’s the people I meet who make my work so meaningful.
People who come to our clinic often have needs beyond medical care. Sometimes they need a place to stay or something to eat. Sometimes they come with spiritual needs. I listen to them and try to help them. If they are searching for meaning in life, I share what God has done for me and offer to pray with them. And many respond.
Local church members and kind people in the community help us to provide our patients with the non-medical care that they need. At Mwanza Adventist Clinic our ministry is to give people whatever help they might need.
Recently I tested the blood of a man who had suffered from painful sores on his skin for 10 years. He had visited several health centers for treatment, but they had not been able to find the source of the problem. They gave him topical creams to treat the sores, but the creams didn’t work. Then a friend told the man to try the Adventist clinic.
When I examined his blood, I found evidence of a parasite that lives in freshwater and burrows into a victim’s skin and lives in the person’s organs. Once we found the parasite that caused his symptoms, we could treat him with a drug that kills the parasite. Before long the parasites will be flushed from his body and his skin will heal. The man was so grateful to at last have an answer to his suffering. I shared how before I look at any sample, I ask God to open my eyes and my mind to see what He wants me to see.
On another day a woman named Martha* came to the lab for a blood test. As I drew blood, she began asking questions about God. I shared with her what God was doing in my life.
Martha’s condition required that she come in for regular tests, so we had several opportunities to talk. Eventually I invited Martha to study the Bible with me, and she agreed.
When we met to study, I realized that Martha couldn’t read. I began to teach her. We went slowly, reading a few verses at a time. In six months Martha’s reading had improved immensely, and she found such delight in reading the Bible for herself. Before long she asked to join the Adventist Church.
As I got to know her better, Martha told me that her husband had left her because she couldn’t have children. She needed work to support herself, so I asked around. I learned that we needed someone to help clean at the clinic. Martha is doing a fine job, and she’s able to earn a living.
Sharing God’s love brings me great joy. Whenever people show an interest, I share free Adventist magazines or give away a sharing book. When someone asks me a question about God or my faith or what Adventists believe, I offer a book such as The Desire of Ages. I keep books on health, which are popular because most people who come to the clinic are not well. I always pray for God’s guidance in choosing a book or magazine to offer people. I may not know all their needs, but God does. Those who can afford to pay are usually quite happy to do so, which allows me to buy more books to give to those who can’t pay. And people come back and tell me how glad they are to have read the books.
The whole staff of the Adventist clinic in Mwanza tries to do everything we can for people. We provide appropriate medical care, but we try to meet other basic needs and spiritual support as well. When the new hospital is completed, we’ll be able to do so much more.
My work is to help heal people. But my ministry is to bring them to a knowledge of the Great Healer. All of the staff at the Adventist clinic feels that way. We cannot do less than our best, because we work for God.
*not her real name