A Berber Woman reached up and placed her hand on a picture of a young girl, bowed her head, unlocked the door and entered the room. I observed this act of grief several times by family members and well wishers throughout the afternoon as the medical clinic was being conducted. It was now clear to me the one in the picture was the key to opening the door for this clinic. Let me explain.
Seventy eight doctors, nurses, medical students and support staff joined our Missionaries in this North African nation. The original plan was to have a clinic for over 1000 patients in a market town at the foot of the mountains. That door closed despite all the proper coordination. Very biblical; The Romans (Government Authority) and Jews (Associations linked to organizing the patients) have a disagreement and the Christians (our medical team) are left with no choice but to trust God. Now that I think of it that’s the best thing we could have done. Lots of praise and worship as a group on the hotel roof tops, terraces, and restaurants where we assembled. Can you imagine what affect it had on others in this Islamic dominated country? The small group bible studies and several encouraging words from our Missionaries didn’t hurt either. All this helped to focus our team on God’s will to be done.
Two more doors closed from the pressure of the government on the local groups. Fortunately, invitations at all the locations are possible in the future. All we needed was to not get head of where and when God needed us. That materialized with one simple conversation between one of the medical team members, our tour coordinator and one of his friends as our group was at a scenic overlook of a Berber City referred to as the City of the Palms. A casual as you are with your family and it led to an unexpected response from the friend of our tour guide. He responded as a grieving father who had recently lost a daughter after being struck by a vehicle. The one in the picture, mentioned earlier, was of a smiling wide eyed three year old with a life tragically cut short.
An invitation was extended by our new friend for our team to go to his grieving family’s home. God knew this family and village could use our help. God also knew this was not just a home. It was a hotel with a restaurant and more than enough space for an eighty person medical team. So that we could pay our respects, have lunch and quickly convert the available space into a medical clinic. Over one hundred patients received care in this Berber Village. All this was done with no conflict from the government officials.