“Do not say: I am only a youth,
for you will go to everyone I send you to
and speak whatever I tell you.
Do not be afraid of anyone,
for I will be with you to deliver you.”
That fetus looks amazingly human!! I commented to the surgeon in the lounge by the operating theatre. She quickly replied: That’s because it IS human! Dr. Cummings had just done a hysterectomy on a 46-year-old woman with a molar pregnancy. Distressfully, the lady was carrying twins and one embryo turned into a complete hydatiform mole. Her enlarged abdomen resembled that of a pregnancy at 28 weeks instead of the determined age of 13 weeks they really were. Grape-like clusters and prune juice is how my nursing textbook referred to the harmful and rapidly dividing mass. The second baby was normal. I told the obstetrician-gynecologist: You have to remember that life is ultimately in God’s hands. The OB-GYN made the decision to sacrifice the infant for the mother. I’ll never forget the unsettling comparison of the fetus beside the grotesque mass once the doctor sliced open the womb. Later, I sobbed into my pillow as I wept that night. I question why I feel called to medical missions—especially during nightmarish scenarios like the one above…
I never dreamed that I would actually find myself volunteering in Angola when asked six months ago!! God opened up incredible doors of opportunity bit by bit. I pleaded that He make it clear step by step. Jason and Amanda Helmholdt told me about a hospital in the city of Lubango run by Dr. Foster. I learned that he valued educating the new generation of medical folks. I applied to intern as a nursing student online at the CEML (Centro Evangelico de Medicina do Lubango) website. I received news from Mayo Clinic saying that they were very sorry to report that I was not chosen for the externship program. I thanked God for His leading and went ahead to open up a GoFundMe page. I calculated that I would need to raise approximately $7,300 to cover accommodations such as food, lodging, transport and visas. I just needed to believe that God would make a way if it was His will even though it felt quite overwhelming at times. I remember going to bed very discouraged and waking the following morning up to see the update alerting me that an individual had given $500!
I love serving here!!! I’ve bemoaned the struggles of mastering Portuguese impeded by my hearing loss. I’ve grinned and handed a squalling newborn to her beaming father while ignoring the blood on the delivery table. I’ve listened to many consultations in which a terminal diagnosis was made. I’ve hurried alongside the physician to the infirmary in an
effort to keep the glass jar-turned-into-CPAP machine only a few inches away from the blue neonate in severe respiratory distress. I’ve flown in a Cessna 182 with MAF!! I’ve ridden a 4×4 obstacle course. I’ve tenderly rinsed off betadine, feces, urine and pus off the skin of an emaciated man. I’ve sutured many incisions and adjusted to the nauseating odor of cauterized epidermis.
I am convinced that I am in the right place; at the right time; doing right things. God is using these life-altering experiences to draw me closer to Himself and infuse me with a zeal to use my learning to minister to others whether it is overseas or stateside.
“LORD, You are my portion
and my cup [of blessing];
You hold my future.
The boundary lines have fallen for me
in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
You reveal the path of life to me;
In your presence is abundant joy.”
Psalm 16:5-6, 11
Brianna Roth is the daughter of Jeff and Sally Roth who are currently GMI missionaries in Nicaragua. When Bri was younger she grew up for some of her childhood in Zambia where her parents were before they moved to Nicaragua. She has a beautiful servant’s heart for the Lord and we love seeing his plans for her unfold!
To learn more about Grace Ministries International please visit our website at http://www.gracem.org