Sunday, June 24, 2018

Future Medical Student Learns from Local Doctor in Sierra Leone

"The people of Rotifunk taught me more about faith, humility, endurance, and love than I could've ever imagined possible in such a short amount of time."  
- Heidi O' Dell

An aspiring medical student, Heidi O'Dell, was a member of a North Carolina Conference team to Rotifunk, Sierra Leone, in May.  She shares her experience learning from a local doctor who exemplifies what it means to be in ministry: 

I’m not sure that I could ever find the words to accurately describe how much this experience meant to me. The people of Rotifunk taught me more about faith, humility, endurance, and love than I could’ve ever imagined possible in such a short amount of time. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect before going on this mission trip, but it definitely exceeded any expectation I could’ve had. 
One of the most impactful experiences for me were the Outreach Clinics. It was special to get to actually interact with the people in the villages and see their need and be able to help them and give them more information about the hospital.  I also got to practice some medical techniques of my own which will be beneficial to me in my future. We had a lot of success with the clinics and I feel that, with time, they could be even more successful. 
Playing with the kids was also a highlight of the trip for me. I wasn’t sure how well playing limbo or with the rubber ball would go over given that we weren’t really able to explain what they were supposed to do, but the kids caught on quickly and seemed to really enjoy it. 
Another thing that stood out to me was how hardworking Dr. Asante, Lumeh and Arthur were. You can tell they really appreciate their jobs and want the absolute best for their patients. They all knew off the top of their heads each patient's’ status and that was impressive to me, as I don’t know if that would be the case in American hospitals. I also appreciated how Dr. Asante and Arthur allowed us to watch a surgery, and explained what he was doing throughout. I learned a lot about the kind of doctor I want to be from them. 
No matter how big of an impact we may have made on the people of Rotifunk and the surrounding villages, they made an even bigger impact on me. The happiness and love they exude is unparalleled. I hope that I am able to take what I learned from them and apply it in my life back here in the States. I also hope that I can one day be even half the source of Jesus’ light and love that they are. I am forever grateful for and humbled by this experience, and I pray that I am able to return someday.