In the past, I have always served in the Family Care area, organizing and handing out hygiene products. This time though, since it was most likely my final time to get to be a part of the clinic, I felt like the Lord was leading me to do something different. To stretch me in some way. So I ended up being an advocate. Advocates are like tour guides. We learn the layout and direction of flow in the clinic and guide the people we serve through it. They may not get to see every part of it because of time constraints, but we try to help them in as many ways as they need while they are in our care. So what exactly are we guiding them through?
For one day every quarter, my church turns its old 3 story building (once an elementary school in the heart of Germantown) into a fully functioning care center or medical clinic. There are SO MANY volunteers to make this whole thing run smoothly. Of course there are always hiccups along the way, but God provides every time. This year one of the problems the night before was that someone forgot to rent the curtains for the doctor's area... kinda important... but after some imaginative thinking, some long black sheets pushed into the ceiling tiles worked just fine.
Let me guide you through our clinic.
|Volunteers arrived at 10:30am for training. Doors opened for care from 12-4. People started lining up in the cold before 10:30am.|
|at noon they were let into the staging area to await assignment to an advocate|
|we then guided them to tables where another volunteer would aid them in filling out medical forms|
|Next they had the option to see a Chiropractor or go strait to the nurse's station where there were about 16 volunteer nurses giving general medical evaluations|
We could also let them go to another region of this room to have glucose levels checked for diabetes screening.
|Next stop was upstairs. Visitors could get signed onto the wait list for dental screenings or on the list to see a doctor. While they waited we grabbed some lunch. Taco Salad!!! No one leaves our clinic hungry.|
|If they did not want/need to see a doctor or dentist, we then went "shopping". Our store is run off of donated items so everything is free to our guests. We have toiletry/hygiene items.|
|volunteers painted nails|
|the local massage therapy school gave free massages|
|And licensed cosmetologists gave free haircuts|
And that is what I love about my church. It is all about meeting people where they are. Not in their faked perfect lives, but in their dirty, hurt, messed up ones.
Did we make everything better for the people we served? No. There is much work to be done in all of our lives. But we did bring joy to them for a day. For a day these families and individuals don't have to worry about where their next meal is coming from. For a day they get to feel that people do care about them. And for some, Jesus becomes less of a story and more of a reality. They are pointed to the Ultimate provider and healer. And in most cases, the volunteers' lives were touched as much as the ones we served.
Glory be to the Father.
EDIT: view the Medical Clinic video by Sojourn Community Church below