Some Things Really are Priceless!
YES….those MasterCard commercials are overplayed and can maybe even get a little annoying, but after purchasing my tickets to the country of Belize I could not help but remember the saying that some things are “Priceless.”
Last year a group of UW-Madison PA students went on a medical mission trip to Guatemala for 10 days. I could have joined their team… but chose not to because I could not imagine paying hundreds to thousands of dollars in addition to my semester’s tuition. Furthermore, not working and relying on my husband to pay food and living expenses just made the whole idea seem in a way selfish, or so I felt at the time.
After the students came home last spring from Guatemala, they had pictures and stories and so many amazing experiences to share. Instantly I felt that I had made the wrong personal decision to not attend. The truth is, ever since I was in junior high I have wanted to go on a mission trip to serve; I just never found a church or other mission group that I felt comfortable enough with to join. And here were a bunch of good friends telling me what a great trip they had! At that moment I knew I had to follow my heart. I was determined… the next time a medical mission opportunity came around I would not hesitate, even if it meant budgeting more or taking the time to fundraise. Last fall I placed my name in a raffle to go on a one-month clinical rotation in Belize, but alas my name was not drawn. I was so disappointed that I asked if I would be able to join the current UW PA-S group going on a medical mission trip to Belize this May. They graciously let me join (months after they started planning the trip) and now my tickets are booked so it is official! We will spend four full days examining and treating patients in rural areas of Belize with an established mission group from Texas. I believe my experience will truly be priceless and I cannot wait to write a blog about it including photos!
A side note --- I know not all individuals are able to/desire to go on mission trips and by no means am I implying that you should, it is completely a personal decision. Also, I know that there are plenty of in-country and in-state populations that need medical care as well and I plan on setting up experiences with those. This is a new journey for me =-) If you have any personal experiences with mission and/or work with underserved populations, please share. I would love to hear and learn from them!