By Lisa Aggas
In early January, a 10-member medical team traveled from Rochester, NY to Pune, India to once again conduct a free medical camp, teach health education programs, present a women’s health education series and support the Koinonia Medical Clinic. This annual trip, now in its sixth year, provides medical and dental care as well as God’s love to the people of Pune. Here are some reflections of the trip from team member Lisa Aggas:
As we were in the airport waiting for our flight to India, I felt the same excitement about being a part of the medical missions team as I experienced back in 2010. I admit I was a tad anxious about the flights, as I was well aware that we would be spending an extended time in transit on this trip. It didn’t help that outside it was a near blizzard!
We left on time, which was absolutely amazing, just the first of many minor miracles we would experience over the next few weeks. We traveled to Washington, DC, then to Frankfurt, Germany and finally to Pune; arriving at 2:30 in the morning on Sunday, January 5. For all those who were praying for traveling mercies, I thank you!
We slept for a couple of hours and then got up to get ready for church. What a great way to start our week! As I watched from my balcony I got a glimpse of the girls from the Girls Home of Pune as they arrived at the front gate. They appeared to be very well cared for and well behaved, and as they filed through the gate they were smiling and giggling. That brought a smile to my face as well, but I found myself reflecting, what is it that causes a parent to give a child away? Poverty, hardship, cost?
I felt so grateful and thankful for each of the girls who we have rescued from the streets and difficult home situations. They are so blessed to be brought up in a Christian atmosphere and be given the opportunity to attend school. I wondered if they still had hurts that live in the deep recesses of their minds. My prayer for each of them is that they will experience salvation through Jesus Christ and healing in their emotions and spirits.
Doing all in the name of the Lord Jesus
Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, handling accurately the word of truth. 2 Timothy 2:15
The Medical Camp ran from Monday to Friday. In those five days we were blessed to see nearly 1,600 men, women and children! Many had hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, fatigue, flu-like symptoms, STDs, depression, and malnutrition. One of my patients had leprosy and another woman likely had a tumor growing in her uterus for several years.
The thing that always struck me was that even though most of our patients did not have much in the way of worldly goods, they were very thankful that we came all this distance to serve their needs. It made me think, how many times have I bought the newest gadget – be it a Keurig, a Ninja, or new clothing, or ate at a nice restaurant, just because… After visiting India, you don’t take these things so much for granted.
On Saturday we held the second annual Women’s Health Day, where we taught on three different areas: Beautiful Feelings, Physical Beauty, & Beautiful Intimacy. More than 60 women attended, along with a dozen or so children. It was truly a blessing to see so many come and learn from us and us from them.
I based my session on Philippians 4:6-7: “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”
One woman in my group shared how she had been ostracized by others because of a skin condition she has called vitiligo. It is a skin pigmentation condition where the melanin is destroyed, leaving white patches on the skin.} After she spoke, I shared with the group about a physician I work with who is very well respected but also has this skin condition. I told her she was beautiful on the inside as well as the outside and then I hugged her; it nearly brought me to tears!
Medical Missions – We Couldn’t Do It Without You!
And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary. Galatians 6:9
After my session I passed out small gifts and Bibles that have been translated into their language. My hope is that these ladies will read their Bibles and the Word will make an impact in their lives. Thank you so much to everyone who donated soaps, nail clippers, hair accessories, nail files, and candy. And a very big thank you to all the women who sewed the 61 purses that the ladies carried their goodies home in.
I cannot forget to make mention of our wonderful hosts, Pastor Joseph and Sister Vishranti. They are such faithful servants, always willing to serve us and so gracious. They always went out of their way to provide us with transportation (no matter the time of day), delicious food, and comfortable facilities. Their hard and continuous work did not go unnoticed! I pray God will continue to bless them!I found my experiences in India to be very humbling. There were so many moments during the trip that really touched my heart. I hope to return to Pune again in the near future.
Before I close I would like to challenge you the reader- how will you get involved in helping others in need? Will you travel to India? Will you financially support the ongoing work? Will you pray daily? Whatever way you are lead, I pray you take action, and may God richly bless you as you are faithful.