b Cheri LeBlanc, MD: December 2006

Friday, December 22, 2006

Ele in the news!

Merry Christmas!

What a wonderful time to reflect on the goodness of God. What an incredible year this has been - and I can only look forward with excitement to 2007.

I'll have the total patients seen this year in a few days, but I couldn't wait to share this with you.

Leadership Network is an awesome organization that we became involved with in September. We were privileged to be part of the first Healthcare Community, which puts churches and Christian organizations together from around the country. These groups have a heart to reach hurting people with the love of Christ through healthcare. It has been an wonderful way to network with like-minded servants. Healing Place Church has been a part of their Multisite Church Community for a couple of years.

Anyway, Leadership Network recently wrote an article about Healing Place Church and they mentioned Healing Hands. Here is a quote from it: When asked where the staff for this exciting new ministry came from, Dan says with confidence, "God brought them in."

How true that is!!

Check out the entire article here.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Faith, Hope & Love in New Orleans

I felt that one more story of our weekend in New Orleans needed to be told. The pictures below are of the waiting room, a picture of the street the church is located on (Firehouse Family Ministry), and the couple is Dr. Mike and his wife, Angie. They were first time volunteers with Healing Hands. It was so exciting for me to have two doctors to work with in the mobile clinic.

The story below was told by Angie, who was working in our pharmacy and educating patients about the diabetes machines we were giving them. But a series of events led her to spend time with and pray with a lady on Friday. . . and this was no coincidence.

"I met a lady this weekend in New Orleans who told me she had lost her reason to live. During Hurricane Katrina she lost her home and her only daughter. She thought her only purpose in life had been to care for this daughter who had been very sick.

She needed Jesus to heal her broken heart and to show her that He still had a purpose for her life. After talking about her daughter for a while, it was obvious that she felt a deep sense of guilt over her daughter’s death. She felt she should have been able to prevent it.

I was able to share with this precious lady how God Heals our broken heart, and binds up our wounds (Psalm 147:3). I was able to share my own testimony of how God had healed me from feeling the responsibility of my own brother’s death.

The fear of losing a loved one had once plagued me and now that very same spirit of fear was plaguing her. She was a Christian who had isolated herself from other believers and desperately needed to be free from grief, guilt and fear. I felt God was urging me to tell her that her day of grieving was over and He still had a plan and purpose for her life (Jeremiah 29:11)

We were able to pray together and before she left she assured me she was going to go back to her church and help reach out to other people. She now knew that there was still a plan and purpose for her life.

God is AWESOME! “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me …. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives… to set free those who are downtrodden…” Luke 4:18"

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

When the Saints Come Marching In

There is a song that rings throughout the city of New Orleans that everyone in the city associates with the professional football team here. However, I want to share with you a story from a different team. A team of real Saints came marching into the city of New Orleans on December 8th and 9th, 2006. The goal of this team was simple. We wanted to show the love of Christ through mercy and compassion with healing in our hands. Healing Hands ministry out of Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge, LA teamed up with PRC Compassion who networked us with churches and ministries in New Orleans for an all out assault into one of the hardest areas of the city, Midtown New Orleans.

This story is one of mercy as only Christ can show. On Saturday morning after setup, we opened to a crowd of about 40 or 50 men. I noticed one man who came in and was talking to one of our team and he looked discouraged. I wasn’t sure why, but I was soon to find out. A homeless man wandered into our camp cold, hungry and in desperate need of medical attention.

I was in our medical triage tent when one of our team members, Lori, said, “Joe, we need to get this man into the tent to a nurse because he is violently shaking”. Pastor Mike Davis from PRC Compassion, and I ran out to pick him up off the sidewalk and we carried him into the tent. We’ll call him Ralph. We immediately started to pray for him and warm him up as his body was very cold from sleeping out on the street all night. As we warmed him, Angie checked his blood sugar and it was over 300.

Ralph’s diabetic condition was serious and without a healing touch could have died. We brought Ralph into Ele to see Dr. Cheri, and after a brief evaluation she came out and told Pastor Mike and I that if he didn’t sober up and come clean then the medicine she could give him would only kill him.

Pastor and I took Ralph into the sanctuary where a battle ensued for the very soul of this man. I had my arm around Ralph’s shoulder the entire time we loved on him. I knew in my heart that the only reason Ralph was alive and in our presence was because Jesus wanted to perform a miracle. And a miracle is exactly what was needed.

There was nothing we could do for this man physically. For about an hour we poured the Word of God into him. All the Saints on the team knew Ralph was in the sanctuary and they were praying as well. With peace and joy in our hearts, Ralph made a profession of faith, and you could tell it was a heart change. Praise God!

His body stopped shaking and he walked out of the sanctuary under his own power. As he stood outside of the sanctuary ready to see the doctor, he looked at me and said words I will never forget, “Brother, I feel like I was in a fight and got whooped.” I looked at him and said, “You were…a fight for your very soul.”

The story doesn’t end there. We led Ralph in to see the doctor and Pastor Mike along with other Saints arranged for a home and a bed for him to sleep in. Jesus’ Miracle Power Ministry has taken him in and will place him in a program that will be focused on Christ with mentoring and teaching for one full year! To God Be the Glory!

A church van came to pick up Ralph and bring him home but not before he got a hair cut provided by the church. All the SAINTS were cheering as Ralph left transformed by the blood of Jesus! God still performs miracles and the greatest miracle of all is salvation.

Under His Grace,
Joseph LeBlanc, Jr.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

More from New Orleans

This is the view from the big tent that was used as the waiting room, nurses station and prayer room. It was very cold that day and there was a kerosene heater to warm the air. It was hard to determine what was worse: the fumes or the cold. But it didn't stop the servants from loving on each and every person that came through the line.
I forgot to state in yesterday's post that we saw 93 patients in the mobile clinic. All to the glory of God. Each of these patients was loved on by the receptionist at registration, one nurse to take their medical history, another nurse to take their vital signs, a physician, and each and every one was ministered to by a prayer partner. So many lives were touched by the love of Christ.

One of the stories was a lady that I saw with a complaint of crying all the time; she didn't know why she spent so much time crying. Gayle, Healing Hands' wonderful prayer leader, was able to spend some time with her. By the guidance of the Holy Spirit, they were able to figure out what the problem was. This sweet lady's church had not returned after Katrina, and she had not found another because she had no car and no church close by. She had no family except her church family and they were now gone. She had no fellowship with Believers. Gayle was able to talk to the church at Firehouse, introduce them to this lady, and they made arrangement to pick her up for service today, Sunday. She now had a new church and family. Gayle tells me that she left with tears of joy and a new spring in her step.

It's not about the medicine, not about any single church, not about a ministry, it's about fellowship in Christ and demonstrating His love.

More to come. . .

Saturday, December 09, 2006

A Day of Mercy

The Mercy Seat of God. What an awesome place to be, full of love and compassion. God gifted us this day to be His hands extending to show His love to people that thought they were forgotten.

What a great team we had that served with us this day. We had 21 from Baton Rouge, 6 from Richmond,Virginia and numerous servants from Firehouse, VERBO Church, and others of the local body of Christ.

At 9am they began lining up in very cold weather, but our team had warm smiles on their faces and mercy in their hearts. We quickly began registering and evaluating them. Many arrived without a coat, and the local church was distributing coats that had been collected from all over, including Baton Rouge and St. Francisville.

The Bible states that the Harvest is plentiful, and we certainly experienced that today.

These men were brought from hotels and other shelters where many slept on cement floors at night, and worked cleaning and rebuilding New Orleans all day. Some were blessed to have steady work, others never knew what the day would hold.
We saw many that had stomach problems. As we listened to what a typical day was like for them, we saw a pattern. Many worked jobs where they were not allowed to eat all day long. They left early in the morning and were kept on a rooftop all day. By the time they stopped at night, they were starving and would eat what they could and often suffered the stomach pains associated with this type of lifestyle.

Hearing their stories makes you think about the grace we live under and sometimes take for granted. This day was about showing mercy, and it was also thanksgiving.

There are so many stories still coming out of this day. We will share some over the next week or two. So, please check back often. Right now we will get some rest.

The picture with the 4 people are Loretta, Cindy and Dr. Ken from Virginia and me. The group photo is our wonderful team from Baton Rouge and St. Francisville.

More pics!

Good morning Kingdom of God!

We are having our morning coffee! I realized I didn't post 2 of our best pictures from Friday. The whole team posing and the team from Victory giving thanks for our day.

We are ready for what God has for us today.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Fruitful Harvest in New Orleans

Healing Hands Mobile Medical team followed Ele in a caravan to New Orleans early this morning with Victory Fellowship Broadstreet Mission as our destination. God blessed us with beautiful weather - a bit cold. But this did not hinder the group enthusiasm. We were met by a medical team from Richmond, Virginia as well as an awesome team of volunteers from the mission. We were so greatful for the 82 opportunities that the Lord provided for us to minister to those who needed healing - whether it was in their body or their soul.

We were a team of 3 physicians and 5 nurses, and many other servants (about 40). Although we had a later start than we had anticipated, we were on God's time. All who wanted to be seen were ministered to in 4 hours.

At the end of the day, we traveled a couple of miles to Firehouse Family Ministries that welcomed us into their church. This facility also has dorm rooms where we will be sleeping the night. Two ladies had prepared a wonderful supper for us.

After dinner, we set up our pharmacy in the church sanctuary. Everyone is preparing for a larger harvest tomorrow. Our night will end in prayer and thanksgiving for the opportunities He is giving us.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

New Orleans - Grace & Mercy Needed

We have been preparing for our 2 days of outreaches in New Orleans. How do you prepare when you don't know what to expect? This has tried to create a lot of anxiety in me these last few days. Several times I have had to take a deep breath and remember HE is in control. It doesn't matter if I know what to bring or not.

The team from Virginia is leaving tomorrow. We pray that they have safe travels. Dr. Ken and his team of 7 people were in New Orleans right after Katrina, in October and December of last year. It will be interesting to see what they think of the progress that has been made.

One thing can be sure. God's grace and mercy are greatly needed. What is so cool is that His grace and mercy never run out, but those who need it the most don't know about it. That's where Jesus lets us into the picture. We get to be His arms and legs to show His grace and mercy.

What we do in the natural is good, we provide needed medications and treatment to people who don't have any other way to get it. But that is so temporary. The love we can demonstrate to them WHILE we are serving is what really matters.

Keep praying, the evil one is not happy we are going into his territory. Pray that we may be a light in a dark place.

Monday, December 04, 2006

When did compassion leave?

We had an awesome time in St. Francisville this past Saturday. It was a smaller clinic than usual because their annual Christmas Parade was passing on the same street that we use, so we had to have shorter hours. But as always when hearts are seeking Him, God shows up.

There are 2 stories from that day that I can't get out of my mind. One is a young man that we were seeing for the 3rd time. On the prior 2 occasions he had declined the offer of prayer. We never force it on anyone, just as Christ never forced Himself on anyone when He walked the Earth. We just kept loving on this man and serving him just like everyone else. What this man didn't know was that he was being prayed for by this wonderful team in St. Francisville. As you may have already guessed, this Saturday was different. This time when asked if he would like to talk with a prayer partner, he accepted the invitation! Praise God!

The other story is about a lady that we were also seeing for the 3rd time. After I had concluded the medical exam and discussed her medications and I was getting up to leave, she just sat looking at the floor. I sat back down and asked her what was wrong. I noticed tears streaming down her face. She said, "I just want you to know that I have never seen such compassion in professional people as I have experienced with all of you. From the moment I walk in the door and I am greeted by a happy smiling face welcoming me like family. Even the nurse as he takes my blood pressure is smiling and asking how I am doing in a way that implies that he really cares and is interested in the answer. He's not just asking it in a way that doesn't expect an answer. In all my years (she is in her early 60's) I've never experienced compassion like this in a professional environment."

I was deeply touched and cried with her. On the way back home I tried to analyze (that's what us doctors do) what brought me to tears. And I realized it was tears for all those professional people, including myself, that begin to look at our profession as a job instead of a calling. All of us that are blessed to interact with people in our job so easily loose our focus. Instead of seeing these interactions with people as an opportunity, we see them as a necessary task or even a burden. God help us all!

Compassion should be the "norm" instead of such an exception that it brought this sweet lady to tears when she experienced it. I now have a prayer focus of praying for renewed compassion in all medical professionals. Please join me.