Milagro was nervous to walk in our doors. As a Venezuelan immigrant, she knew that being sick could mean big expenses and put her family in debt. But as she took in our clean facilities, professional staff, and welcoming environment her nerves began to calm.
During her visit she met one of our providers, Ryan. After the medical part of the visit Ryan introduced Milagro to Jennifer, a pastoral care volunteer serving that day. Jennifer had also immigrated from Venezuela to the United States and the two connected quickly. Some of Milagro’s fears came up as they talked and Jennifer got to point Milagro to scripture during the visit, encouraging her to read the book of John to better understand who Jesus was. The two prayed together over Milagro’s fears and Jennifer promised to follow up with Milagro via our clinic connecting team to see how she was doing.
As that friendship continued to grow, Milagro one day called Jennifer and asked to meet. She had been reading in her Bible and had a question. “If Jesus died for our sins and it’s a free gift, why have I been working so hard?”
Milagro had come from a cultural background that told her the harder she worked the more God approved of her. She had believed she could earn her way to heaven via good works. Jennifer clarified the freeing message of the Bible, specifically referencing Ephesians 2:8-9 that Jesus’ sacrifice for our sins was a free gift we only need accept. The good works we do are an overflow of His love, not an attempt to earn His love. For the first time, Milagro understood the freedom of the Gospel.
Because of the ongoing relationship built through the clinic connecting team, Milagro now knows Jesus and has begun attending a Bible-believing church. When asked about the change she has experienced since that first time at the clinic, she speaks of the fear that marked her when she walked in. “My new faith has removed the fear I used to have. I now know that no matter what hardship life’s circumstances bring, God will provide for me and I only need to trust him.”
For more stories of the multitudes we saw this year, continue to follow this blog series, or view our full 2017 in Review report here. Want to connect with patients like Milagro through our clinic? Find out your next step here.