Guest Post by Chi Mandivenga
A chapter in the Bible that both inspires and challenges me is Isaiah 58. In verse 12, God promises that, “your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to dwell in.” While the prior verses in this chapter were admonishing the people of Israel for their superficial religion. In the latter portion, Isaiah proclaims God’s vision of restoration, repair and rebuilding that can be accomplished when we embrace our calling to come alongside His people and seek their welfare as we would our own.
God builds His Kingdom by investing in people. He has invested in each of us by giving us time, talent, and treasure so that we can co-labour with Him in the work that He is already doing. Our greatest example, Jesus, invested in those around Him by teaching, healing, comforting, listening, and serving them. In particular, Jesus was intentional in his investment in the 12 disciples, who later spread the gospel to all nations. He invested in the few to reach the many. Likewise, medical missions, such as those through EMAS Canada, are opportunities for people to invest in each other using a holistic and mutually beneficial approach. Whether that be in building educational capacity to strengthen health workers ability to save lives, or in taking the time to listen and lighten burdens. It might be to pray and problem solve, to encourage and exchange ideas, to gain a deeper understanding of God from the lens of those in a different culture, or to practically repair and fix foundations. Each of these actions and investments by a few, impacts the lives of many that they serve.
There are numerous programs globally that are addressing health needs on a large scale in resource-constrained places. I am privileged to be part of some of these programs on a daily basis. Inevitably and understandably, despite their scale, these programs will not reach everyone. Medical missions through organizations like EMAS play a unique role in filling the gap and partnering with communities that perhaps fall on the margins of these larger projects or are not always considered. A core part of Jesus’ ministry was seeing/ministering to those that were unseen. Many that he healed were those that were forgotten, or on the margins of society. Jesus saw and remembered them in the same way that He remembers and sees those in Zimbabwe, Ecuador, China, Myanmar, and other countries globally where teams are working alongside each other to provide care.
Repair, rebuilding, and restoration comes through investing in long term partnerships that will ensure sustainable provision of health care, investing in people, and building relationships across borders, languages and cultures and investing in places where the gaps need to be filled.
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All Scripture references are taken from the New International Version (NIV)
Feature image: Unsplash by Clay Banks