Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It's all in your perspective




Yesterday I went to visit McKean Hospital with our CAM staff and a volunteer that is here helping us for 2 weeks. McKean Hospital is one of the first hospitals in Thailand that was devoted solely to treating people with Leprosy. McKean Hospital was founded in 1908 by Presbyterian Missionaries Mr and Mrs McKean. McKean is surrounded on one side by a river and a stream that connects the river to create an island of sorts. The hospital grew in stages of being a leprosy colony and hospital to a leprosy rehabilitation center providing physical and occupational therapy. Their goal is to empower these patients to attain their maximum potential physically and to be psychologically healthy with a sense of worth and self acceptance, and to be able to live productive lives with acceptance and dignity in their own community.

I had visited several times before and have always enjoyed the serene atmosphere and the sense of community that this place exudes. Today we were visiting to celebrate many holidays with the patients such as Christmas, New Years, Children's Day and a few other Thai holidays.

We had a worship service to start with and had all the patients in a big circle sitting in wheelchairs or regular chairs. We all sang together and had gifts set aside for each one of the patients living there. While watching this whole thing unfold I kept thinking to myself how lucky I am to be healthy. I was thinking about all the times that I feel sorry for myself or feeling that life has been such a struggle. Then I look around at all the patients and my struggles and challenges seem embarrassingly minuscule. I started to get emotional watching the scene play out with all the joy and love that was surrounding these people. People who were deformed with missing limbs or nubs for hands and feet, but with beautiful redeeming hearts and souls. Sometimes I think it is good to get a sobering dose of reality to gain a better perspective of what real challenges look like. It is reminders like these that put it all in perspective.

How is God challenging your perspective?

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