For those eyes of Yahweh roam throughout the earth to show Himself strong for those whose hearts are completely His~2 Chronicles 16:9
“Medical ministry” brings to mind the ideal of following the Messiah’s altruistic ministry to preach the gospel and to restore people to full health: physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual. Such a noble effort, often espoused in religion classes, inspired me to take on the rigors of medical school. But after two-and-a-half years of jumping through hoops, getting a taste of several clerkships in the hierarchy of medicine, seeing health care changes dominate national politics, and learning to use the electronic medical record, I found myself having misgivings. How could anyone pursue an altruistic model of medical ministry in the United States, where medicine is so commercialized and heavily managed?
As I prayed for an opportunity to see medical ministry being modeled, I remembered an appeal given back in January to join Dr. John Torquato and Pastor Wayne Kablanow in medical ministry in Spokane, Washington, the following October. Never had I imagined that my schedule would conveniently open up in October so I could respond to that appeal, but it did. I booked my flight that same day to Spokane.
Curiously, on one of the days after I arrived, Dr. Torquato told me to meet him in a grocery store. I was quite puzzled because he had informed me that he was only searching for a long-term clinic site closer to the medical evangelistic gatherings. As it turned out, this grocery store already had a rapid care clinic but it had closed down three years ago due to a sudden fallout with the investors.
The store was located conveniently beside a busy pharmacy that agreed to administer vaccinations and promote the clinic. The grocery store manager even offered to stock up on any supplies the clinic would need, just to get it started again. I had no idea these were the very specifications Dr. Torquato had prayed and searched for in order to provide for the needs of his part-time staff.
One of his struggling physician assistants had joined his practice at half pay and had a one-hour commute because she wanted to be a part of medical ministry. However, increasing demands at home were forcing her now to resign and accept a job offer at a nearby hospital. Dr. Torquato would not let her go that easily, knowing how she was called to this work.
He appealed to her to reconsider, suggesting a clinic might open up closer to her home and with the hours she needed. To everyone’s amazement, this grocery store’s rapid care clinic met her needs! It was half the distance from her home as the other one. Thus, she would have the hours she needed and could remain on staff while still being available for her family obligations.
Why I happened to be in Spokane to witness this turn of events is too much of a coincidence to ignore, and it served as a positive response to my own misgivings, as well. Through this group’s obedience, I was humbled to experience the benevolent hand of the Almighty at work. I saw how He provided for all the needs of His workers and also affirmed my call to medical ministry.-Deborah Roquiz, LLUSM class of 2014. She graduated from Andrews University with a BA degree in music and minors in biology and chemistry. She is a deferred mission appointee.