There are a lot of adventures out there waiting for you to live. Every Compassion Volunteer has a story to tell. Do you have one? #MyCSi
Compassion Services International (CSi) is partnering with Global Missions to send a team of Apostolic medical professionals to the mission field. The CSi medical team will work together representatives and trainees who are also on site with the Next Steps Program to provide outreach into the community. Health fair screenings, health education sessions and the distribution of medical literature are planned for multiple cities with the focus on prevention and awareness of common health issues. Supplies, such as eyeglasses and multivitamins, have been collected and will be distributed to those in need.
Medical missions is one of the core elements of CSi. Medical humanitarian work provides a unique gateway to offer both physical care and to demonstrate compassion in areas of disaster or in parts of the world where there is a lack of health care resources. The work of Compassion Services International allows the opportunity for Apostolic health care workers and other volunteers to put their faith in action, combining their professional training to help missionaries and local pastors reach their fields of labor. Addressing people's physical needs often provides a gateway to address the spiritual needs of the individual as well. This process allows connections to be built with new people and at the same time broadens the ministry outreach of the local churches.
From the Old Testament to the New Testament, we are instructed to care and provide for those in need. Protect the widows and orphans. Don't glean the comers of your fields; leave the extra for someone else. Love the stranger. Feed the hungry. Be kind. Then Jesus came and set the ultimate example. He cared for the suffering, the sick, the hurt, and the broken-hearted. Matthew records He was "moved with compassion" by people's needs.
"And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick" (Matthew 14:14).
Very often Jesus addressed physical suffering. Many of His miracles were healings – blindness, leprosy, epilepsy, paralysis and so much more. When Jesus was asked what the greatest commandment was, He said that it is to love God. He continued, however, that the second greatest commandment was to love others. These two commandments are inextricably connected. Medical missions is God's love in action - caring for those in need, addressing people's physical suffering and connecting them with a community of faith.
Please join Compassion Services International in these
efforts. Your urgent help is needed. Donate funds to purchase the supplies
distributed. Share news of CSi trips on social media. Pray for the CSi medical
Ever since I was a little girl, I have had a passion for
medicine and missions. When I was young, I desired to be a veterinarian. Later
in my teen years, I had a spiritual awakening, and realized that I could make
an eternal difference by working with people. This prompted my change to
nursing. Once I became an RN I began searching for ministry opportunities.
Although I was able to minister in my local church through Sunday school and
Bible quizzing, I had a desire to do more. As my love for medicine grew, I
began searching for a way to combine my secular nursing career with my burden
for souls. This is when I found out about Compassion Services International.
I learned about the organization’s ability to combine the apostolic truth with humanitarian efforts around the world. I was intrigued. I made inquiries and in 2015 found myself on my first medical mission’s trip to the Dominican Republic. During this trip a profound love for apostolic medical missions began to grow. I was able to see firsthand the immense impact this uniquely-equipped group of medical missionaries was able to make in the world. My enthusiasm continued to grow, and in 2016 I was on my way to Haiti. I witnessed firsthand the country’s immense need for God and healthcare. During one of the clinics, I observed one man’s excitement when he was given reading glasses and was able to see to read his Bible for the first time. I also learned about selfless love when a man approached me and begged me to adopt his own young daughter and take her to America. He was trying to give me his daughter because he knew that I (as an American) would be better able to provide for her; my heart was broken by this desperate man’s plea.
After leaving part of my heart with the beautiful Haitian people, I was devastated to hear of the catastrophic aftermath of hurricane Matthew. While searching for ways to help, I learned about CSi’s plans for a disaster relief medical mission’s trip. Being an RN who specializes in trauma and emergency medicine, I knew that God had been preparing me to respond to this need. I found myself heading back to Haiti where I was personally able to provide medical and spiritual aid. In 2017, I was again privileged to embark on another disaster relief medical mission’s trip to Puerto Rico. Through my involvement with CSi on the mission field, God has opened doors allowing me to be participate in clinic work, church services, orphanages, Bible school education, and many other ministries. I have continued to grow in my professional vocation and in my spiritual walk through life-changing and rewarding experiences with CSi.
I’ve always loved missions work," said Jessica Driggers of Indianapolis, Indiana. "When I was younger, my brother went on a missions trip to Trinidad and Tobago. It sparked something in me." That spark quickly turned into three Global Missions AYC trips. After high school, Jessica attended Indiana Bible College for a time before she felt a change of direction. She then followed her passion for missions but paired it with nursing. She graduated with her BS in Nursing from Anderson University and worked in an ICU for three years, gaining valuable experience in the medical field. While working as a nurse, she sought the best way to join her calling to nursing with her passion for missions.
When Compassion Services International (CSi) announced Southeast Asia as its medical missions destination for the summer of 2018, Jessica knew immediately that she wanted to be involved. For the first time, CSi partnered with Global Missions Next Steps, which promised a valuable synergy. "It was my first time with CSi; I was so excited and it was a great partnership with Next Steps," she said.
During the health fairs in Asia, Jessica focused on health education. The medical fairs were usually held at local churches, which helped the churches, local ministry and Next Steps team make new connections within the community. Of the partnership, Jessica observed, "It allowed the Next Steps members to see a different aspect of missions. It showed them how beneficial a program like CSi can be through disaster relief, humanitarian aid, medical attention and education." In certain areas of the world, proselytizing is illegal. Humanitarian aid of all kinds, but especially the personal connections made through medical fairs, builds bridges of trust that would not otherwise exist. 'That's the aspect of CSi I love the most," she said. "We go to tend to needs while simultaneously opening the door to reach others."
The health fairs usually began with a line of people wrapping around the block. That was both encouraging and disheartening. 'The truth is that for every person we aid, there will always be another person in need. It's easy to wonder if it's worth it," she said. "But just when 1 was feeling discouraged, God sent a man through my line that uplifted me. I gave him basic education for a health condition he had suffered with for years. The man looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, 'No one has ever told me these things. I've taken pills for years but have never been taught this way. Thank you for helping me.'"
Jessica advised "if missions work is what you are led to do, then do it wholeheartedly. Approach it in prayer and discuss that burden with your pastor. Then find a way to get involved. If you've never gone on an AYC trip, go on an AYC trip! There are all kinds of ways to get involved in missions - CSi just happens to be my favorite."
Looking back over 2018, what is highlighted in your memory? If you're like most people, it isn't stuff but memories of people. At Compassion Services International, we are grateful for the moments in 2018 that we have been able to serve communities, families and individuals because of you and our many supporters. Although not a complete list, these are some moments we remember:
In the spring of 2018, many regions of Africa were experiencing drought. In Uganda, our representative, Phil Tolstad, reported that drought caused famine, exacerbated by an influx of refugees from South Sudan, which was creating a severe humanitarian crisis. He reported that two ministers' wives had passed away as a that time, we also received a request to purchase grain for the Sahel region of Africa. While we raise funds for our End Hunger campaign throughout the year, these grave needs prompted us to create a drive called "Feeding Our Family."
Following the volcanic eruptions in Guatemala, the world was quickly inundated with dramatic images of fire and destruction. Our representative, Brad Thompson, reported that 10 people associated with the UPC of Guatemala were included among the dead. Following his appeal for relief aid, you quickly helped raise $8,000, which was distributed through Brad Thompson.
During the summer, a team of CSi volunteer medical personnel partnered with the Next Steps program in South Asia to conduct medical health fairs for hundreds of people at multiple locations. These efforts, in combination with the Next Steps program, not only met physical needs but opened the door to bring Hope and Help to this country.
More recently, India experienced devastating floods, which damaged several churches, pastors' homes, and the homes of congregation members. One local presbyter reported that all local (Kerala) dams were opened, there were numerous landslides, and more than 100 church families were affected. You and our supporters helped raise nearly $7,000, which was distributed through our representatives in that area.
Nobody knows what headlines will fill the news this year, but we want to be prepared -- especially for
those closest to our heart. Please join us in
sharing and preparing to join us in this movement to
raise awareness and funds for CSi. We invite individuals, businesses, districts, to get involved with Compassion Services International. Let's make 2019 another year highlights with the works of compassion.
It's easy to see how CSi brings "Help" - the "Hope" part is harder to define. That is, until we met John whose name has been changed to protect his identity. John lives in a nation that does not allow freedom of religion. Their city suffered a catastrophic earthquake, where he and his mother lost everything. In shock, hopeless, and feeling shattered he and his mother walked the streets. One of our representatives approached them and gave them rice and blankets. That encounter began a friendship which led him to a whole new way of life. A life filled with "Hope" for their future.
CSi meets tangible needs which opens up doors to explain the hope for a future. Get involved with CSi today.