On Thursday we hosted our weekly free health clinic in Armenia Bonito. Fifty-two people walked away happy. They all received free health care. Twenty-five others were not so happy. They got turned away at the door. Each clinic day we are only able to treat about 50 people. That is a huge number for a single nurse and four or five untrained missionaries. Unfortunately, we have to turn away 20-30 people each clinic day.
Many who get turned away are upset. It is very understandable. Many of these people walk several miles to get to the clinic with sore or sick bodies. They bring several children along in the heat. And, when they get to the town hall they see a long line that wraps around the building. Then some gringo says, “Sorry. No more appointments today.”
It is heart breaking for us to turn away people, but we have to be excited in two things: 1) God’s sovereignty – He makes sure we see the right 50 people each week, and, 2) Thankfulness – While 25 people didn’t receive care, 50 people DID receive care. These 50 people would have paid for a bus, rode the bus for over an hour, paid to be seen at the hospital, waited four hours for a consultation, paid to get their medication, then take the bus back home. Our clinic is in their community and it is free.
Each person receives evangelism, personal prayer, free consultations and free medicine…it’s not all bad.