I knew as a little girl that I wanted to be a nurse. My grandpa had some health issues and after seeing him suffer, I knew I wanted to eventually help hurting people with their physical needs. I also knew I wanted to go on a medical missions trip—preferably to some remote place—someplace simplified to its core.
Shortly after graduating from nursing school, I saw that Joyce Meyer Ministries, Hand of Hope was organizing a medical/dental missions trip to El Salvador. God said, “Now is the time!”
I knew it was a God thing because the timing was perfect. I had just graduated from nursing school, but hadn’t found a job. The volunteer ad said they were looking for RNs.
It was a huge leap of faith for me, but I applied, was accepted and immediately, the nerves set in! I’d never gone on a missions trip before and I certainly hadn’t done anything like this—a major trip where I knew absolutely no one! It would also be my first experience using my skills as an RN. Yet, with God’s help, the entire experience was virtually stress-free. Everything unfolded before my eyes, and soon I was headed to El Salvador.
What made the trip memorable?
One memory that stands out from the rest concerns this wonderful 97-year-old woman, who came to my triage table as I was taking her son’s blood pressure. She had just had two teeth pulled at our dental clinic. As she waited, she took my free hand and held it in hers. It was a very touching and humbling moment. I knew she was in discomfort, but through it all, she was still so grateful.
I realized a dream to go on this trip, hoping to reach out to those less fortunate. What I never imagined was what I’d get in return—an experience that changed my life.
I became a nurse to help people and began my career with some of the best patients I could ever ask for. I went to El Salvador to be a blessing, and ended up being the one who was blessed— you don’t get experiences like this from staying home and focusing on yourself. These trips teach you to put others first.
If you’re a medical/dental professional, we’d love for you to join with us on an upcoming trip.