Wednesday, December 9, 2015

It's Not about Me

It’s Not about Me

Lessons from a Ministry Team
Susan Knapp, Volunteer, with Rachel Elwood, Support Staff
October-December 2015

Papua New Guinean woman and child.It took our medical team four days of solid traveling to get to the clinic in Papua New Guinea where we were volunteering. We were so excited to serve! But once we got there, the clinic staff didn’t seem very welcoming and we found ourselves with nothing to do.

That’s a hard blow to face after long plane rides, long layovers, months of planning and fundraising, and being away from family. After a day of just basically standing around and not doing much, I’ll admit it: I was angry.
I went to bed that night thinking to myself, “What will I tell everyone who helped me get here?” I prayed and told God that this was not what I had signed up for. (I know, it’s never a good idea to give God a talking-to!) I knew God had cleared the way for me to come; I knew I was supposed to be there. But in that moment, I felt cheated and I needed to clearly hear from Him.

The next morning, the first thing that came to mind was to open the Bible and read. My Bible fell to Ecclesiastes: “Meaningless, meaningless, everything is meaningless.” Basically, Solomon is saying that you can have everything in the world—all the work, all the power, all the importance—but unless you’re following God and doing what He has called you to do, everything is meaningless. And it hit me: even though I hadn’t done much in the clinic the day before, God was working.

And then, before I knew it, that week at the clinic ended up being a great week. We became friends with the clinicians, and the barriers started to come down. Our group did some teaching on Thursday, and I taught about infant resuscitation and infant assessment. Several staff shared that they really appreciated this information, which they had not gotten much training in before. This feedback seemed to be confirmation that I was supposed to be there.

I learned that my job is to be a servant, and servants do what they are told to do. We are called to do what God would have us to do, even if we don’t understand it. It solidified my purpose here on this earth. I don’t know all that my role was or what difference it made or didn’t make, but I learned a very big lesson that has stayed with me. It’s not about me, my expectations, or the money the trip cost; it’s about listening, trusting, and then doing what God has called me to do.

Do you want to go on a medical team?GO: Short-term medical teams, work teams, and prayer teams are available year round. Is God calling you to serve outside your comfort zone? Learn how you can go at

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