Why is this orange getting stuck with a needle?  No, it’s not being vaccinated against “citrucitis”; it’s just helping Emanate students learn the proper way to give an injection!

We recently took a one-week intensive course called “Field Health”.  Athough Ethnos Canada is not a medical mission, knowledge of basic medical skills can be extremely valuable on the field.

In many of the remote locations where Emanate students will one day go, access to medical care is limited.  There are no 911 operators, no first responders, no ambulances, and no Emergency Room.  Sometimes, the missionary’s personal supply of medications is the largest pharmacy the village has ever had.  Even worse, there are a host of tropical diseases that we would never dream of getting here in North America, including malaria, typhoid, cholera, tropical ulcers, and a diverse array of worms.  We saw some pictures that could make anyone feel squeamish.

In these kinds of conditions, how do you respond when one of your teammates is faced with an illness or injury?  When do you call for an expensive medevac helicopter, and when do you try to treat them yourself?

“In our First World you have grown accustomed to ever present, good quality, prompt medical care.  You know if an emergency arises, you will receive medical care first, without prejudice or regard to payment.  In fact, these factors may be so ingrained that you have never really stopped to consider them.  As missionaries to a developing country, you must consider what it is like not to have the best medical care available.  Are you ready to accept less than the best care?”

-Frank Black, M.D.

This is a hard question.  Another way to ask the question is: are we willing to entrust our health and the health of our families to the Lord as we obey His call to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:19)?  We are thankful that He alone is Jehovah-rapha – the Lord our healer (Exodus 15:26).

We are also thankful for this Field Health training.  Being armed with a basic knowledge of symptoms and appropriate treatments for common illnesses could make the difference between life and death.  It could also be a tremendous help to those we are serving.  Even sharing basic methods of cleanliness and disease prevention can transform a society and save lives!

  • Would you pray for Emanate students that we would trust the Lord for our health and safety wherever He leads?