Corazon Para Servir: Identify Mission Experience
by Nicole Denham
To serve you only need a heart full of grace and a soul generated by love. -Martin Luther King
Standing in the foyer packing twelve suitcases full of medical supplies…our Identify team’s excitement filled the air. Once a mission team is formed, there is a lot of work to be done prior to departure, to get ready for the in-field mission. Donations are collected and lessons are put together that the team will use to educate the communities of Guatemala.
I myself had not been on a Mission Trip but felt as though I was in good hands with the
founder and my business partner having eight trips under their belt. Our members were also comprised of pre-med, pre-nursing, and early childhood education college students. Additionally, Bonnie and I brought our daughters along to be part of the team.
During our time in Guatemala we traveled around the country and set up clinics in both city and rural communities. Identify has several host partners who live in these communities and they utilize them to help customize each clinic to match the needs of those communities. Host partner relationships also help to solidify opportunities and additional resources needed along the way. Each day brought us early mornings, new challenges, immense heat, and late nights; but we worked together as a team and carried on. A week that brought some of our longest work days…turned out to fly by all too quickly.
As we sat on the living room floor of our Guatemalan home, prior to leaving for the airport, Kristi read us a story and asked us to share our favorite part of the trip. Each member quickly reflected and shared something that had personally touched them. The young women on our team provided answers that were filled with emotion and insight. Bonnie and I were astonished by the depth of their answers and at how open to the experience they had truly been. Prior to the trip each teammate had expressed an interest in learning more about healthcare and education as their highest priorities. Surprisingly, the answers that were revealed on that last day had almost nothing to do with medicine at all, but rather they had common threads surrounding service to humanity. My daughter, Ava, stated that her favorite moments on the mission were the home visits, because it allowed her to see both joy and sadness at the same time.
Identify believes in educating, healing, and providing mercy to those they serve. Additionally, the organization prides itself in providing “more than a mission trip”, but rather a “mission experience”. Bonnie and I not only agree with that concept whole-heartedly, we also believe that each one of these young women walked away with a stronger foundation in making their career decisions. As for myself, a newbie in providing international healthcare, my experience was just as rich as any other team member. Last week was a simple reminder that having a heart for service should remain at our core, especially as a healthcare provider.
What the young women on our team, aspiring healthcare professionals, had to say:
• I want to really put myself to the outside world than just school and my family.
• It’s an eye-opening trip that shows purpose in my life.
• The week spent serving the people of Guatemala was one of the most eye opening and life changing experiences I have ever had.
• I went into this experience thinking I was just going to gain medical experience, but I actually gained new friends, a new perspective on life, and a deeper
understanding of the true purpose of medicine.
• I want to go into the medical field when I’m older and the experiences I get from these trips inspire me more and more to do so.
• It was a life and mind changing experience which made it extremely special and makes me want to continue doing it.
• It’s pretty cool to be able to serve others through ministry and medicine!
Give your hands to serve and your hearts to love. -Mother Teresa