2022 Panama Medical Mission Journey
Jun 22, 2022 | by Liz and Joe Motley
Panama Medical Mission Journey
A medical team from FUMC Hurst will return to the comer of Panama this September. Why travel to Panama when the need is so great in our neighborhood? That’s a good question.
In 2020, Joe and I were led by the Holy Spirit to talk with Rev. Philip Rhodes about a return medical mission journey to Panama. At that time, Philip told us that a decision had been made to work with Global Hands of Healing for foreign mission journeys. Joe and I left his office to ponder this decision. As we prayed about it, we were led to return to visit a second time with Philip about returning to Panama. We told him that we felt called to lead a medical team with or without his blessings. The Holy Spirit worked on Philip at that moment, and Philip assured us that FUMC Hurst would support a team to return to Panama.
A date was set for July 2021 to return to El Guabal, Panama. Then COVID-19 happened. God had called two doctors to go with us to serve. Without doctors, the journey would not happen. The trip had to be postponed to July 2022. We waited. In January 2022, we realized that it was going to be almost impossible to pull a team together for July 2022. We’d lost the commitment of one doctor and the other doctor was iffy due to a family medical issue.
What do we do? I knew in my heart that God had called us to go even though Joe and I had no medical background. We stayed faithful to this call and continued daily to pray for God to provide the medical personnel needed for this journey. This mission was out of our hands. God was dealing with it. An answer would come. Shortly after Rev. Yvonne Coon came to serve as our senior minster, we invited her to break bread with us at a local Mexican restaurant. We shared with her our call to lead a medical team to Panama. She gave us her blessing to continue.
Joe and I made a presentation at the January Focus On about tithing and sharing using the life of Jesús Héctor Gallego Herrera, a priest from Columbia who gave his life helping the indigenous people of the Panamanian rainforest. The photos of the last medical mission journey of 2017 were shared during the presentation and brought numerous inquiries of a return to Panama. God was at work at FUMC Hurst!
After receiving a confirmation from one of the doctors who had previously agreed to journey with us, we rescheduled the journey for September 2022 and stepped out in faith that God would provide the second doctor as well as nurses. We wanted people who had never experienced serving during a medical journey to go. After the announcement was made in a Sunday bulletin insert, we began receiving emails from several people who expressed a desire to go and serve. God was making this journey happen by sending us a doctor and three nurses.
Joe and I are retired educators with no medical background. We just have a love for God’s people in Panama and know that we can go and help. No matter how farfetched a call may seem to you, don’t hesitate to step up and say, “Here I am, Lord.” Your life will never be the same.