But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you ~ Matthew 6:33, NKJV

The summer between my first and second year of medical school I had the opportunity to go on a mission trip through the SIMS (Students for International Mission Service) program. I traveled to Ile-Ife Seventh-day Adventist Hospital in Nigeria. It happened to be the same hospital where I was born and reared during the first part of my life. While I was growing up in Nigeria, my father served as a missionary physician in the hospital. Returning to this site, I had many nostalgic moments as I walked around the hospital and in the compound that houses the hospital, as well as during visits to the living quarters of the staff.

As a medical student I was able to shadow other physicians who were working and training in the hospital. I was also able to get some hands-on experience, including suturing one patient and inserting a catheter into another. But above all, I had the opportunity to grow in my walk with God.

While there, I became very close to five patients who, sadly, passed away. Two of them were twin baby boys, less than five days old. Life that had barely begun for them was too quickly gone. I started thinking about what really matters in this life. Is it the opportunity to go to school and get various degrees and different letters after my name or to start a successful business or to get married and have children? Where should my priorities really lie?

I realized that, at the end of the day, what really is important is my relationship with God and being able to spend all eternity with Him. I also want to share Him with others, so they may do so as well. This objective, however, does not mean I should quit school or stop living on this earth. I realize that everything God allows us to do, every opportunity He brings our way, is another chance for us to get to know Him more, to truly grow in Him.

If we were idle on this earth, doing nothing but waiting for Christ to return, we can only imagine the chaos there would be. So God, in His infinite mercy and grace, gave us work to do to keep us occupied until He comes back for us.

My end goal and my success are not defined by my work, but rather my work should be an opportunity to develop my Christ-like character and truly minister to others. What an awesome privilege I will have as a medical professional to minister in a way that others cannot. I must remember that as I tend to my patient’s physical needs, I can also minister to them spiritually. And, ultimately, it is this spiritual impact that will do the patient the most good.

Adegbemisola Daniyan, LLUSM class of 2015, is from Paradise, California. She graduated from Oakwood University with a BS degree in biology.