When I came to the Amazon, I had just graduated from nursing school 2 months prior. I had already written two job interviews in the form of a test in my home city, which is in the rural area of São Paulo, and one of them was at the Clinical Hospital óf Ribeirão Preto (HCFMRP). I was only waiting for the call to hear if I was accepted, but since my scores were not too great and the test results would be valid for 2 years, I thought I would probably only receive a call to work for the hospital, when I returned from my 1 year of mission service.
Currently I live in a river village called Rosa de Saron, which is about 12 hours by boat from Manaus. This village has neither 24 hour electricity nor a telephone or cellphone connection, so sometimes we easily go 30 days in a row without any communication. And this is exactly what happened in August. We had been without any communication for 30 days, when we had to make a trip to the city, to take a patient to the hospital. I was finally able to talk to my family and my mom’s first words to me were: “Your letter of acceptance has arrived! You have to be here on September 10.”
It was September 6, and I also received various messages from the rest of my family, including uncles, aunts and cousins, saying that they would help to pay for my ticket so that I could present myself at the hospital.
For a moment I had a feeling of great despair. Two choices, each of utter importance, and I had no idea what to do. My mom said she would call the hiring agency to see what could be done. It was 1 am and I started crying and praying to my Creator. He had led me up to this point, He had opened the doors for me to be in this place, serving as a missionary nurse, He had touched people’s hearts to send donations so I could support myself here, and He had supplied all of my needs.
I remembered various experiences where He rid me of dangers, sent food, counsel and comfort. Besides this, I remembered the joy of being able to serve as a nurse in a place where people have little to no access to health services, and the opportunity to gain a practical knowledge that no college, job, or hospital could provide.
I spent hours talking to God, waking up in the middle of the night to pray, asking God to show me what was best for me.
We had to stay in the city that night, and when I woke up the next morning I took a Bible from the house where we had slept over, to have my daily worship. My attention was drawn to a marked verse with notes, and I decided to read that. The note was talking about “guarding your feet upon entering the house of God”, in other words, reverence. So I decided to read the whole chapter in order to better understand the context. God doesn’t just use a verse out of context to answer our prayers. He knows exactly how to speak in a personal way, so that I can understand His will for me.
He probably won’t even answer you in the same way that He answered me. That’s why He is GOD! Because He knows me SO WELL, He is capable to take care of my anguish, my suffering, and bring back peace to my soul.
The verse that brought me the answer was Ecclesiastes 5:4,5: “When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it.” So I called my mom and told her what had happened, and she immediately said: “My daughter, you are fulfilling God’s plan, He will not abandon you. If He wants to, He will give you another opportunity to get that job, and if not, it was never supposed to be yours.
The rest of my family agreed, and even my friends from college were convinced that God was guiding me, and that being here was a once in a lifetime opportunity. As a matter of fact, I discovered why God called me to this place. The first thing that makes complete sense to me is that God wants to save me.
I needed to go through circumstances where I didn’t have financial stability, a comfortable lifestyle, the closeness of my family, and easy access to communication, to understand that life in this world is fleeting and that what we leave behind is what we sow to the fulfillment of our duty as God’s children.
Everything we own here on earth, comes from the Creator and should be dedicated to him. Our lives last but a little moment and should be used to bring light, and only that. We are neither here for a joy ride, nor to live eternally. This is not our home, we have a mission to remind others that we are only here in passing, and that Jesus awaits us.
And while He is not yet returning, others should see His character, which has the power to change the world, reflected in us.
I needed to be here to understand that Jesus left ALL; the glory of heaven, honor, majesty, happiness, family, and reverence, to come to this world of disgrace, poverty, and envy, where He was not recognized and was born in a stable. So I could only think: “What exactly did I leave behind? A career? Stability? Comfort? Is this anything compared to what Jesus left behind for me? So I can only be grateful, because I understand that He led me here, has sustained me and taken care of every detail of my existence. And if it was His will for me to be working at that hospital today, I would be. But His will for me today, is to be a missionary nurse. The only thing I can be sure of in my life is this: “Delight thyself also in the Lord: and He shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the Lord; trust also in Him; and He shall bring it to pass.” Psalms 37:4,5