Bangladesh, Part 2

As a Social Worker, my job consists of case management a lot of the time. Case management often turns into somewhat of a bandaid-type fix in which you fit in as many clients as you can in one day, attempting to meet a handful of needs for as many as possible. Without fully realizing it, I believe I have become somewhat desynsetized to the importance of each individual. I have begun seeing problems, hurts, and pains as more of a massive issue rather than something that is individualized. Before going on this trip, I was informed that I would be able to help with some of the mental health needs of the people we came in contact with. I was told that there was no mental health care available in Bangladesh, and that there were numbers and numbers of people to be helped. I honestly pictured myself with a long line of people, giving a “band-aid” to as many as I could. God, as He does, completely rocked my perception.
While in Bangladesh, I probably counselled 10-12 patients. In America, that would have been a ridiculously small number for the amount of time we spent there. I got to have tea with a Schizophrenic lady, who spent a couple hours laughing and smiling instead of being tormented by the voices in her head that told her to hurt everyone around her. I was able to hug and love on a depressed Buddhist teenager, and even share the gospel with her. She came back the next day, and brought me a gift because she was “feeling alive again”. I prayed (with my eyes open, in English, surrounded by Muslim spies) with a lady who felt hopeless and had begun to think that God hated her and her family due to the fact that she had lost two children in the past two years. This lady left rejuvenated and confident that God had a plan for her and her family, and that the plan was for good and not harm (Jer. 29:11). I even got to share some simple breathing techniques with a woman suffering from anxiety; she was hugging me and rejoicing that she no longer felt like she was having a heart attack, and all I did was remind her to breathe! These are only a handful of examples of the work that God did when I took the time to see the importance in the one He placed in front of me. God’s word reminds us of this truth in Matthew 18:12-13, where the Lord talks about leaving the 99 sheep to find the one who went astray. Time and time again, Jesus speaks with the one in front of Him. He leaves the crowd to go have dinner with Zecchaeus, a well-known tax collector and sinner. He hears the voice of the blind beggar in the midst of many, and He speaks to the man and heals him (found in Luke 18 and 19). Yes, through God’s intentionality (that is now a word in my book), many see His healing touch and give Him praise; but He does this through paying attention to the one in front of Him.
While in Bangladesh, several individuals came to us at just the right moment for healing. There were crowds and crowds that wanted medical care each day; we almost always turned A LOT away. Instead of letting this frustrate me, however, I learned to trust that God would bring us those He desired to touch in that moment. One day, a father from the previously unreached Marma village carried his son 8 hours in order to receive medical care. The child had malaria and was near death; he left physically healed after receiving medical attention and the love that only Christ can give. Another man was carried on bamboo shoots by two friends, unable to walk because of bladder obstruction. They had no idea that we were holding a free clinic; they were carrying him as long as it took to find the care that he needed. These are just two incidences that I know were NOT coincidences. They were God’s divine appointments.
Now that I am back, I will soon be entering into the world of Social Work once again. I pray that I never forget the value in the one in front of me. I do not want to live as if I am here to help the masses; I want to trust God that He will place people in my life that He wants to minister to through me, and I want to invest fully in those people. We are not called to be everything to everyone; we are called to live as if we have an audience of One, and to trust Him with the details. Who has He placed in front of you today? Whether it is your children, spouse, co-workers, clients, or anyone else, it is not by chance. Let’s live that truth out today, leaving the rest in His hands.

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