Who knew that an e-mail requesting a Chinese-speaking translator for a live news interview would inspire a life of overseas medical missions? Certainly not me.
I was first introduced to LEAP while responding to such a request from a friend in my fellowship at church. The story of Li Ying, the girl in the interview and beneficiary of LEAP’s Landmark Fund, and hearing about Dr. Hobar’s heart for missions ignited a passion I never knew existed. I started going on mission trips at nineteen simply because I was tired of sitting on the sidelines, watching everyone go and come back with life-changing stories. God was quick to teach me that missions are for His glory and not my own. God has called each and every one of us to a life of missions. Mission work is not an interest but a call to obedience from God. While God calls some to serve locally among our community, He also calls others out into the world to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). I had gone to several countries as a missionary but never once considered using my nursing background. After some prayer and much encouragement, I took my first LEAP trip to Haiti in 2012.
Caring for the needs of so many children, we hardly have the time to even learn each child’s name. Going back as a returning team member to Haiti in the fall, I stepped out of the car to a very familiar surrounding like many others on the team. I walked up to Hôpital Espoir, the place where nursing changed for me. While walking through the hallways, reliving past memories, in awe of how God could bring me back to such a place, a familiar face, Chris, Co-Director and Co-Founder of HIS Home for Children, stopped me in the hallway. “I remember you. You were Ellie’s nurse. Oh, how I wish you could see how big she is now.
Who knew how true this statement would be as I was blessed to have the opportunity of visiting Chris’ orphanage. We were swarmed with children, running at us with open arms, seeking nothing but love and affection the second the car doors were opened. Chris showed us around the home and then into a large room with bunked cribs. She led us into the room where she stopped us in front of a crib by the window. “This is one of LEAP’s success stories. This is the patient you took care of, Ellie.” I lost control of my emotions in that moment as tears flowed down my face as I gazed at a napping Ellie. It was in this moment that I was reminded of just how each LEAP child is loved and precious in His sight (Isaiah 43:4).”
Charlie is an RN at Baylor Surgicare at Plano & Baylor Health Care System and at The Medical Center of Plano.