I am a doctor in my early thirties, currently doing specialist training in paediatrics in the West Midlands.
I have recently returned from Madagascar, where I served for three years at the Good News Hospital in Mandritsara. I enjoy learning languages and keeping chickens.
My testimony is one of God’s faithfulness and grace. As a teenager, I did not know Jesus. To me, he was merely a historical figure, and being a Christian meant living a good, moral life.
While I was studying for my A-levels and planning to go to university to study medicine, I developed an eye condition which meant that, over two years, I rapidly lost my sight and was unable to go to university as planned. I had worked so hard for it, and was devastated. I had to postpone university while I underwent corneal transplant surgery.
This was a very difficult time for me, and I cried out to God, asking that, if he was there, he would help me. Nothing earth-shattering happened at that point and, during the months that followed, I slowly regained enough sight to be able to start working in an office. I began to look towards planning for medical school again.
While in the office, I worked closely with another woman, who was a Christian. Over time, she showed me what it really meant to be a follower of Christ and have a relationship with him. She invited me to an outreach meeting at her church.
During this meeting God touched me powerfully in a way I had never experienced before, and I gave my life to Christ. I set off for university as a new Christian and began the arduous task of studying medicine. During those first few years, I grew in faith, and was baptised.
At the end of my fourth year, I had the chance to spend a few weeks overseas doing an ‘elective’ placement. God led me to the Good News Hospital, a rural evangelical mission hospital in Mandritsara, Madagascar.
However, during that year, I struggled and became disheartened with medicine, and failed an exam. I once again began to question God, asking him why he had allowed me to get this far, if it was not the right path for me.
I decided to go to Madagascar as planned and to dedicate that time to praying and earnestly asking God what the right path was for me.
God was so faithful in answering my prayers and showing me anew his love for all his people, but especially for his people in Madagascar. He showed me that medicine was exactly where he wanted me to be.
I returned to the UK passionate about serving God as a doctor and knowing that he was calling me to return to serve his people in Madagascar.
At that point, he helped me to look back over my life and see in just how many different ways he had been preparing me to serve him in this way, even before I knew him. He gave me the strength and determination to complete medical school and qualify as a doctor, first doing my ‘house jobs’ in the UK and then returning to Madagascar.
The past three years serving God there have been the most incredible, humbling, rewarding times of my life. To recount all the moments of answered prayer, of faith tested and refined, and of God’s provision would take several books!
In hospitals in the UK, it is often harder to remember to pray about things. When patients are very sick, we have intensive care units, complex scans, and a full complement of expensive medication. In Madagascar we had none of that, but we had something so much better — our heavenly Father, the creator of the universe.
During the times when I didn’t know what to do, or had never done a procedure before, or we didn’t have the needed medicine, God taught me to lift it to him in prayer.
I was daily reminded of Psalm 121: ‘I lift my eyes to the hills, where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the maker of heaven and earth’. It was such a clear reminder of who it was who was my help, the creator of the universe, for whom nothing is too hard!
I do not know what the future holds. I am currently back in the UK, training in paediatrics, with a view to serving God wherever he would have me go, at home or overseas.
I have been told that my corneal transplant is likely to have a limited lifespan and may need to be redone. But, over the past ten years, I have been able to testify to God’s faithfulness over and over again.
And so I continue to walk by faith and not by sight; and to have faith, not that God will give me physical sight, as that doesn’t matter, but that he will give me whatever I need to serve him in whatever work he has planned for me.
The well-known hymn, ‘Amazing grace’, has always been special to me. The end of the first verse says, ‘I once was lost but now am found, was blind but now I see’.
The author is referring to spiritual sight, but for me, God restored my physical sight at the same time as he opened my blind heart to his truths. What amazing grace!