I stopped doing regular medical clinics a year ago. There were several reasons for this.
First, the government opened 2 new clinics in our area in recent years. Most local people started going to them for medical attention as they are free and you have to go there to be referred to the government hospital. A private doctor cannot refer. Hence, I had many fewer patients.
Second, as my girls grow, the homeschooling becomes more demanding. I had less time available.
Third, the support for the sponsored children, schools work and girls club grew. I decided it was better to dedicate the time I had to these ministries, rather than spreading myself too thin.
So, do I miss the medical work?
At first, it was a relief to stop as I was very tired! December 2015 was a busy month with many Christmas programmes which took up my time. A few months later was the earthquake, which led to us supplying food and receiving volunteers, until the autumn. There was no time to miss medicine! Once all that quietened down, I did miss the regular contact with patients and being able to help people with my medical skills. However, I still give people advice on an informal basis. I also still use my medical knowledge in the health promotion work that I do with the local children.
I mostly do not miss it because I love the things I am still doing. I love spending time with my girls in homeschool. I am inspired that we can now support 170 children in their education through sponsorship. It is great to be able to go into the local schools and help provide supplies they need and support volunteers who teach English. The ministry I love best is the girls’ work. Here in rural Santo Domingo, girls still have very limited prospects. I was concerned that despite sponsorship, many dropped out of high school early for other reasons. The girls’ club gives the opportunity to form friendships with these girls. It gives the chance to discuss important topics with them, build their self-esteem and broaden their horizons. It gives them tools to help them climb out of poverty. Most of all, as I teach them from the Bible, it gives them the opportunity to meet and know the living God who will be their companion and their guide for all their lives. It is a privilege to be able to spend my time in this way.