This morning marked our last day in the clinic in Vanadzor. Allison and Michelle Phillips lead worship in their lovely soprano voices, and Dr. Bogosian kindly asked if we might sing in a lower key. Allison also read a devotional from Rick Warren’s “What On Earth Am I Here For?” We reflected on how Warren describes our mission as believers as both a privilege and responsibility. We were reminded that our mission is a continuation of Jesus’ mission on earth. With spiritual sustenance, we finished our half day at clinic. Dr. Al reported that we saw a total of 600 patients combined with physicians and dentists!
After we packed up the clinic, the women of the church served us one last delicious meal and shared their immense gratitude for our team. They presented the team with two beautiful pieces of artwork that children had painted. We of course returned their thanks, recognizing that without them our clinic would not have been possible! Lucy Huckabay said it best when she acknowledged that the women of the church sacrificed to help carry our burdens. No doubt they did more than sacrifice their time, resources and love, they exemplified humble and joyful servants of the Lord. It was a bittersweet departure. We were grateful for our time, but as Miss Sue Phillips noted it was hard to leave because “You can’t help but fall in love with these women”.
Our team split ways as a small group lead by Dr. Al Phillips and Dr. David Essayan headed to Yerevan to set up another clinic. The rest of our group departed along a bumpy, but most enjoyable bus ride to Stepanavan. When we arrived at the church, the ministry team was ready to greet us. After we worked hard to set up the clinic, we played hard. A young boy named Michael practiced his English with us and we joined him in a soccer game in the street, and it got surprisingly competitive. Katelyn Lee suffered a soccer ball to the head, but no worries, she took it like a champ and is just “golden”.
Later in the evening, some of our team went for a hike in the outskirts of the village and stumbled upon a field of flowers with a breathtaking view. We probably took too many photos, but if you saw the view you wouldn’t blame us. With pollen drifting in the air from silver dollar trees, the green mountain ranges in the distance, and beautiful daisies blanketing the fields, it’s as if we entered another world. We are nearly halfway done with our trip, and it has certainly flown by! But, there are still many more patients to see, more love to be shared and laughs to be had. Thank you all for your prayers and support!