Back in early 2017, mobile clinics intimidated me. Each one was a culmination of about six weeks of work within communities up to three hours away from the Tebow CURE Hospital. We’d spend six weeks creating partnerships, educating health and social workers, and preparing a venue for the Tebow CURE team to screen patients. All of this preparation led up to that one day. Much of it was a waiting game—from fervently praying in a corner that more pairs of feet would walk through the door to nervously going through the patient count. During this time, every clinic left me discontented and determined to “perform better” and bring in “larger numbers.”
Thankfully, two years of building up our mobile clinic model resulted in stronger partnerships and more patients, even in places that were 5 to 10 hours away from Davao City. But amidst all of that, the Lord first had to build and rebuild so much in those of us who regularly organized and attended these outreach activities.
The field workers and I sat down often to go back to the Word so that we would understand the biblical foundation for what we were doing. Staff who regularly attended these clinics had to set aside time to pray and be prayed for.
Whether we scheduled a child for surgery or not, what was most important was that the child and his or her family received Jesus’ love through us. Whether it was 30 or 70 or 140 patients, shouldn’t we rejoice that more than one soul could hear the gospel message? Could we pray that more people would hear the gospel before we prayed to bring home good clinic numbers? These were some of the things we reminded each other constantly.
Fast forward to January of this year. For the first time, we flew to another island to screen patients eligible for surgery. It was unbelievable that after weeks of only corresponding with our diligent partners in Dumaguete City, we arrived at a clinic as large as the ones we had back on Mindanao.
The most valuable takeaway from nearly three years of taking CURE’s mission beyond the hospital was seeing and experiencing God at work. A God “who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us” (Ephesians 3:20). Moreover, we were encouraged continuously, not by the consistency of producing good numbers or working with generous partners, but in the consistency of the gospel being preached.
A few weeks ago, we traveled to Malaybalay City for what turned out to be our biggest outreach yet. The field workers and I did not believe that the clinic would be as well-attended as previous clinics, even though we had begun preparing for this clinic nearly three years ago. We thought the terrain and the expense of travel might deter patients from traveling to our venue. However, we were at peace as the big day drew nearer. We prayed and believed that God would send and provide for the right people to come.
It was not even two hours after the clinic started when one of the field workers, Alma, told me, “This is so overwhelming.” Truckloads of patients were amassing outside our venue, the Bethel Baptist Hospital. The waiting area both inside and outside the hospital was packed. As with every clinic, the Tebow CURE staff worked as a team to serve each patient and family according to their need without hurry. Still, the numbers exceeded our capacity. We immediately set and announced another date to see the rest of the patients at the same venue.
Just as we had come a long way from Davao City to see a multitude of children seeking healing, our prayers had also come a long way. We went from saying, “Lord, send us more patients,” to “Lord, give us the strength and wisdom to serve this many patients.”