“I used to think I needed all the answers
I used to need to know that I was right
I used to be afraid of things
I couldn't cover up in black-and-white”
Thanks to the generosity of an individual sponsor, for the past five weeks I have been able to study courses at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. This represents part of my ongoing work toward getting a Master's in Public Health there.
The experience exceeded my expectations. Those at the School emphasize providing realistic public health care in settings of conflict or development – things that I feel complement my work in the hospital at Kudjip.
But for all I have learned I feel that my perspective has been unique. As the eighty-plus students around me take notes and the well-versed professors give insight into challenges I have personally faced the past four years, I am periodically drawn to look out the windows. My mind wanders back to my exam room, the delivery unit or the TB ward at Kudjip. I see clearly the faces of patients whose earthly burdens I've witnessed. Many seem so far removed from the walls of my school that my heart breaks – wondering how many have lost their earthly fights in my absence.
I am a life-long learner and I love black-and-white answers. Perhaps that is part of the reason the Lord put me in Papua New Guinea. Things so rarely declare themselves in black-and-white and the answers are even more complex. Perhaps he needed me to let go of that mindset.
I believe my studies will help me, and help those who come to Kudjip for care. More than that, I believe they have shown me that, even surrounded by the high ranking public health minds of academia, the most valuable contribution I can make as we serve in PNG is to truly care for and love those that put their trust in our hands. To consider how I can go “upstream” and make bigger impacts, but never lose sight of those individual faces.
“So I just want to look
a little more like love.”