Since the beginning of the end, they had been waiting for the promised Messiah. Thousands of years pass before Mary learns her child will be Emmanuel – God with us. A choir of angels announce Jesus’ humble birth to local shepherds and a star signals His arrival to the Magi. In this season as we celebrate Jesus’ birth and await His second advent, the Holy Spirit speaks into our lives, God is still with us! Over the next few weeks we’ll be sharing stories of how OAC members experience God with them through prayer.
Vanessa works as a nurse for the BC Children’s Hospital. Recently she had an opportunity to help Samaritan’s Purse provide medical aid for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.
Kylynda is a microbiology research scientist at UBC. She serves OAC as an Elder and prayer ministry co-ordinator.
Kylynda: What role did your faith play in your work? How did you see God working through Samaritan’s Purse?
Vanessa: As we had limited resources, sometimes it seemed that all we had was prayer. At the patient’s request, medical volunteers could pray with them. In difficult situations, we can rely on God’s listening ear to comfort us when our own abilities fail. I found it very important to keep connected with God and to remember His love. The work was overwhelming at times, but prayer helped give me a new perspective and encouraged me to continue.
Kylynda: What do you want people to know about serving abroad?
Vanessa: To paraphrase Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbett’s When Helping Hurts, people living in poverty face struggles with inferiority, powerlessness, voicelessness, and social isolation. Service should focus on building people up, not viewing others as charity cases. God calls us to serve with a purpose.