b Cheri LeBlanc, MD: July 2006

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Band-aids Door-to-Door

We are preparing for a "Community Health Day" in St. Francisville, Louisiana this Saturday, July 29th. We are trying to put community resources together with people who need the resources. We also have been able to arrange for basic screening tests, courtesy of the health unit and local hospital. We will have the mobile clinic there and we are prepared to treat anyone with abnormalities and no insurance.

In preparation for this event, the team in St. Francisville Healing Place Church did many outreaches and passed out about 900 flyers. I asked Lori, the leader in SF to tell us about their adventure into some of the needy areas. Here is her reply:

"Eleven wonderful Healing Hands volunteers braved the heat and humidity on Saturday, July 22 for a door-to-door outreach in several St.Francisville neighborhoods to promote the upcoming HPC Community HealthDay. (Special thanks to Henry McIntosh for driving the Healing Place Church shuttle bus so the team could be together and share experiencesas we moved from neighborhood to neighborhood.)

As we knocked on each door, we invited them to the Health Day, left a flyer with details and blessed them with a box of band-aids. Band-aids may not seem like much, but the response was so cool! One man commented as he flipped chicken on the bar-b-que grill, "A box of band-aids is just what I need. I have3 sons that are always getting cuts and scrapes!" A woman we met in her apartment parking lot related that "Just today my son got hurt and I was out of them. Thanks!" She had heard about HPC and asked about the service time and location. Hopefully, we'll see her soon.

People seemed to appreciate that we took time to invite them personally. Our heart was to go to the neighborhoods where people may have the greatest need and may not access the Health Day services without some encouragement. I think that mission was accomplished.....One man stated, "No one ever comes into our neighborhood to help us. Thank You." While we were there to pass along a blessing to each home visited, WE were the ones blessed over and over again! To God be the Glory! --Lori"

Spreading the love of Jesus door-to-door! Please pray for this outreach and we'll give you an update after the event.

Ministry at the Laundry?

We had our second outreach in this trailer community on Tuesday afternoon, July 25th. You might not know, but there was a depression in the western gulf which dumped alot of rain in our area that day. Our team prayed all day for the rain not to fall on this park while we were there. Prayer works! We only had a little drizzle.

When we arrived we were offered to use the laundry trailer as a reception area. This was a huge blessing because our papers would have been extremely damp if outside. One principle holds true in any type of ministry - BE FLEXIBLE!

We saw a few people from last time, and met alot of new people. It is such an wonderful feeling to be able to begin relationships with people. They were so excited to see us again. Thanking us for coming back.

The prayer partners are really connecting with them. We are bringing them Jesus, which is the only hope they have seen. They are like sponges, wanting to soak up everything they can from us. We consider it an honor to be able to serve them and let them "soak up" more of Jesus and His word.

Alliece Cole heads up Healing Place Church's ICU (Inner City Unit). She is always able to bless them with something while we are there. The children had a great time playing near Ele (the mobile clinic).

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Children's Cup in Africa

I want to let ya'll (yes, I live in South Louisiana and say "ya'll" all the time) in on something awesome that you can be a part of.

Children's Cup is a wonderful organization that is showing the love of Jesus to hurting children in Swaziland, Africa. They have what are called "Care Points" to help children in very practical ways all while loving on them in a manner that few have experienced before. The picture is one of their newest Care Point. Children's Cup has devoted August 1st through Sept. 9th as time for prayer. Please read the stories of children they are encountering there. Then you can follow along with their daily prayer devotional online, or you can request a printed copy. You can find their link to the 40 days of prayer here, or on the sidebar. Read the blogs of the missionaries on the ground in Swaziland right now.

Healing Hands is praying about taking a medical mission trip here in the future. So, I strongly encourage all of our volunteers to begin to pray for these children and the missionaries. Who knows? Maybe God will call you to be a part of this.


Outreaches for July and August

I would like to give you an update on where Ele is going for the rest of this month and next.

July 25th - Mt. Olive Trailer Community

July 29th - St. Francisville Community Health Day and our 1st clinic

August 5th - Airport 1 Trailer Community (if we can get enough volunteers)

August 6th - Healing Hands Life Group meeting (4pm at the Annex) open to any and all who want to hear about how you can be a part; this meeting is a requirement to help at our clinics

August 10th - Dream Center Donaldsonville

August 19th - Spanish Campus in Gonzales

August 22nd - Mt. Olive Trailer Community

Please keep us in your prayers as we prepare to touch many people in the name of Jesus.


Thursday, July 20, 2006

First 5 Months

I wanted to thank God for what He is allowing us to be a part of through this outreach. And to thank all of the people out there that support us with financial help, your hours of volunteering and especially for your prayers.

I was amazed at the numbers of patients that have been seen in the first 5 months of the existance of the mobile clinic, Ele. I wanted to share this with everyone.

February 59
March 109
April 96
May 92
June 127

Total 483

The first thought that I had after adding these numbers was contacting the only other church-sponsored mobile clinic that I am aware of (if anyone knows of more, PLEASE send me that link) to ask them what numbers they had in their first five months to see how we compared. No sooner than this thought had done a revolution in my brain I felt a check in my spirit. Why should I be worried about that? I am doing what God has called me to do. Each volunteer in the team is doing what they have been called to do.

It's not about the numbers that we can so easily get caught up in, it's the ONE that needed us that day. Some days we get more ONES than other days, but we still need to focus on each ONE as the ONE that needed to have an encounter with Jesus that day. And if we have a day that only has ONE, then praise God! This ONE gets extra love!


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Spanish outreach 7-15-06

We had a great morning in Gonzales, Louisiana at the Healing Place Church Spanish Campus. I am blessed at this location to have both a pediatrician and a chiropracter that serves with us at this location. Remember: all of our volunteers work for free to see patients without any type of insurance and we are able to provide them with most of their medications. All because of donations from awesome people all across the country.

I still don't have the final numbers but it was about 37 patients that were treated that day! We have been at this location since February 2006, so some of these patients are like family. We were really blessed by a patient's wife who cooked us breakfast - - Mexican syle!

I had a thought the day after the clinic (while I was cutting the grass - don't you get some crazy thoughts during this time?) Why is it that the first person I remembered about this clinic was the only one that did not seem appreciative of what we were during, thought we should be during more. This person completely overlooked the fact that we were donating our time and talent to do what we could. And pouring out our heart as we did it.

But why do my thoughts immediately go to that incident? Is it because Christ doesn't want any to perish and I am reminded to pray for this person? Or is it a scheme of the devil to steal my joy in what He is doing through this ministry that I'm blessed to be a part of?

As I continued to cut the grass, I argued both sides. Here is the conclusion that I came to: It depends on how I choose to view it. I have a choice! The bible states in Deuteronomy 30:18-20 "Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, that you and your descendants might live!"

Anytime I think of something that makes me angry or feel bad, I need to pause and ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to me the proper way to regard something. Which way invites life instead of death.

All this during an episode of grass cutting. This is what I call "multi-tasking"!


Friday, July 14, 2006

July 13th Outreach

Wow - what a wonderful outreach we had at the Dream Center! One thing is always certain is that each clinic is different. This one was no exception.

My husband, Joe, drove Ele, which he has never done to Donaldsonville. It is always great when we can serve together. He usually only drives on the weekends. We had a very small servant crew, but with the Grace of God, we took care of everyone.

We saw 23 patients that day between myself and Kevin, our AWESOME occupational therapist/prayer warrior. He always wears 2 hats at our clinics. Actually, I think everyone of our "experienced" servants wear at least 2 hats.

This clinic was particularly difficult for me. It has been a very exhausting week. Since we have not been able to find Ele a place in the shade with 'shore power' so we can run the AC all the time, it usually gets very hot inside Ele. The thermostat was reading 99 degrees when we got there to put the medications inside. (Because of the heat we have to pull the medications out each time we have a clinic. I store them in Joe's office! Sorry Joe!) We had gotten it down to 91 degrees when we left HPC parking lot. When clinic started I think we were at 90 degrees. The heat just wore me out!

What was great about our volunteers - not a one ever complained. But they did mention that they would devote more prayer time to Ele getting a 'house'!

The lesson for me in this clinic (we learn something at each one): It doesn't matter how we "feel" when we are doing God's will. Because it is not about us. It is about HIM and what He wants to acccomplish through us. It's up to us if we choose to have the right attitude about it and enjoy it.

People that day were blessed in so many ways. One man needed medications that I have never had available before that day. They had been given to me for the free clinic, but I didn't remember putting them in the clinic. He had a seizure disorder and couldn't afford his medications, and had had 2 seizures in the last couple of weeks. So when I went to look for them I found them in the first drawer I opened. When I told the man that I had his medications he looked as amazed as I felt. Because of this need of his being met, he went to the prayer partners telling them about his miracle. He was so moved that God would take care of him and provide for him that he rededicated his life to the Lord.

I try to never forget to push myself out of the equation. These people that we are serving don't need to see me; they need to see Jesus. And if I am in a foul mood they can't see Him. And if they can't see Jesus, then we are just another medical clinic.

I have a favor to ask of anyone reading this who wants to make a difference with us. Please pray for us during our outreaches. We will begin posting our schedules so you know when we are at an outreach. Our next one is in just a few hours. We will be in a Spanish community Saturday morning from 8 am until noon. I'll post something about it as soon as I can.


Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Scriptures of Promise for Healing Hands

This is a copy of my notes from our life group meeting this last Sunday. I pray it blesses someone as it has blessed me.

Sunday July 9, 2006
As the numbers of people we serve increase, I have daily had people tell me that I am crazy for starting this ministry. That I can’t possibly make a difference, or worse, that we won’t be able to sustain it. In my prayer time I cried to God reminding Him that I didn’t start this, He did. But I needed help, ammunition, to fight these thoughts from taking root in my mind. I was lead to this verse:

Jeremiah 1:12 NASB Then the Lord said to me, “You have seen well, for I am watching over My word to perform it.”
That’s it! If we find the scriptures that are promises from God about what we are doing, then we will stand on the scriptures when opposition comes. Because if we are “doing” His word, then He will make it happen. Not to please us, but because He says He will perform His word. We just need to believe, have faith, that God will do it. OK, Lord, how do we do this?

Psalm 37:56 NIV Commit your way to the Lord: trust in Him and He will do this: He will make your righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun.
Three points to this scripture:
1. Can’t be our way, has to be the Lord’s way.
2. We have to be righteous: we will discuss this at our next meeting.
3. Do we have a “just” cause? What is our cause: to find people who are hurting because of healthcare concerns, but that is usually not their biggest problem. There is poverty, violence, hopelessness, loneliness, oppression, etc, that is a bigger problem all resulting from not having a true relationship with our Savior. Is this a “just” cause?

Psalm 34:18 NIV The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
We want to be where the Lord is; we are not asking Him to come to where we are. OK, we are seeing the brokenhearted and those crushed in spirit. So I believe we have a “just” cause. But our ultimate purpose is not just to hand them medications.

2 Corinthian 5:18 NLT All this newness of life is from God, who brought us back to Himself through what Christ did. And God has given us the task (ministry) of reconciling people to Him.
We were all lost at one time, but God’s mercy found us and brought us back through the sacrifice made by Jesus. The Lord is now asking us to take these people and show them Christ so that they can be reconciled to Him. How?

Jude 1:22 KJV And of some have compassion, making a difference.
The next verse (v.23) says that some you bring to the Lord with fear. That is NOT our assignment. Our method is with compassion which is the Greek word, “eleao” which is where we get the name of our mobile clinic, Ele. In the Sparkling Gems devotion by Rick Renner, he defines eleao as a deep seated and unsettling emotion a person feels when he has seen or heard something that is terribly sad or upsetting. But that doesn’t explain compassion. This is pity. The compulsion to act and to do something is when pity is transformed into compassion. By itself, pity would simply feel sorry about the situation. But compassion cannot sit by and idly watch. Compassion reaches out to act immediately and to do something about the situation.

Why would we want to do this? The primary reason would be to obey God if He has asked you to do it. You don’t need another reason, but there is a selfish reason.

Isaiah 58:10 NIV And if you spend yourselves (draw out thy soul) in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.
We hear this excuse all the time from ‘want to be’ volunteers: “I have so many problems in my life right now that I can’t possibly find time to take on somebody else’s problems.” This is not scriptural! There are many scriptures that state if you concentrate on helping others God will take care of you. This scripture above says if you help the oppressed then your dark areas will become light. Your issues will be resolved.

But note that it states, “if you spend yourselves”. Not just a token attempt at helping, but really putting forth an effort with your “heart, soul, mind, and strength” (Mark 12:30).

What we have found is that there are so many needs, so many opportunities, how can we do this? He led me to a scripture we have all read so many times. But the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart when I read it this week.

John 6:5-6 NLT Jesus soon saw a great crowd of people climbing the hill, looking for Him. Turning to Philip, He asked, “Philip, where can we buy bread to feed all these people?” He was testing Philip, for He already knew what He was going to do.
What I heard in my spirit was, “You have been faithful with a few now I am sending you more. See the great crowd that is coming toward you because you are showing Me to the hurting. So I am asking you, ‘how are WE going to take care of these people?’” He is testing us, because He knows what is going to happen. Do we have the faith to believe that He can continue to do the miracles (because He has already done so many) needed to meet the needs of these people, to continue to bless us with the finances, the volunteers, the wisdom needed to help these people?

That day Jesus met a physical need in those people, He fed them so their flesh would stop distracting them so they could hear the Good News that would save them. We are suppling a physical need with health care, and so many times we have seen people who started out nervous and worried become soft and receptive once this need is met. That is when our prayer partners can share with them the Good News of Jesus Christ!

But what was really cool about this scripture is that after the miracle was performed by Jesus (all miracles come from Jesus, never us) He allowed His disciples to “serve” the miracle to the people (in this case loaves and fishes). But God us allowing us to be the ones to bless these hurting people! We get to see the smiles, get the hugs and we are blessed more than any of them.

We will remember these scriptures and be sure that we are following His word. Then none of the pressure is on us. It rests solely on Christ. He will perform His word.