Vicki Falkinder, February 2006
When the announcement came at church that SIM were looking for nurses to go out to Pakistan as part of a disaster response medical team, I felt I had to put my name forward. However, I was slightly shocked when the call came the next day asking if I could be ready to go in three days time. For me missionary work had always been something that 'other' people did. All of a sudden I was confronted with a massive dilemma. God had put an amazing opportunity in front of me, to use my nursing skills in an area of real need but did I have the courage to follow where he was leading me? In the end I did the only thing I could, pray. After much prayer and reflection I decided that if God wanted me to go, who was I to argue?
Amazingly I was able to get the time of work, even at such short notice and three days later I was sat at an airport excited but also terrified about what lay in store for me. Despite lots of problems with visas and travel arrangements 36 hours later I was in Islamabad, unsure of the culture and what was expected of me.
I teamed up with a group of American doctors, who had a great deal of experience in working under such conditions, and the SIM team then spent the next few days trying to work out where we could be of most use. Throughout this period I was reminded how important it is to trust in God, and that all things are according to his plans. We eventually made contact with a medical team high up in the northern mountain area, who were leaving and could replace. We set up a clinic from scratch (all we had was a tent), and over the next 5 days we saw on average 80 patients per day with a variety of post-earthquake injuries and long-term health problems. Perhaps the saddest thing was seeing the conditions that refugees from the mountains were living in, and knowing that winter was on its way and things could only get worse. Although there was not much opportunity for open evangelism, we were able to show Gods love through our actions, and some people even allowed us to pray with them which was a vary moving experience.
The most important lesson we leant was that anyone can be a missionary, and it’s not something that other people do. I also learnt to be dependent on God and trust in his guidance in my life, something that I hope I have carried on with since returning home. I also found that God can achieve amazing things in your life if you just listen to what he wants you to do, in the end following Gods will, even though it led me to a disaster zone in Pakistan was easier than working at home in some ways. Anyone can make a difference, you just need to trust in God and follow.