One of our greatest joys has been how international the patient base for the clinic has become! In 2017, 56% of our patients were born outside of the United States, an increase from 51% in 2016. In total, the clinic has seen men and women from 118 different countries. As we meet patients from any new country, we invite them to add a pin to our map as they proudly represent the country they’re from.
After the United States and Mexico, the country we have seen the highest volume of patients from is Nigeria (in western Africa) and behind that is Burma (in Southeast Asia). On average, we see patients that speak 33 unique languages each month! Thank goodness for our translation services donated by Medical City!
Why do we celebrate these numbers reflecting the diversity of people we meet each day? All throughout scripture we can see God’s heart for the nations. Starting in Genesis He shares His desire to build a nation through Abraham so that they may be a blessing to all peoples of the world (Genesis 12:1-3). As God’s story continues through the scriptures we see Him working through Israel to bless the nations around them. God sends Prophets to remind Israel of this part of their calling when they store that blessing for themselves rather than sharing it with the rest of the world. When Jesus comes, some of the first moments in His ministry are spent reminding those around Him of God’s heart for the nations and desire for all to know Him (John 2:13-17 and Luke 4:14-30). And before ascending into Heaven, Jesus commissioned His followers to go and make disciples of all the nations (Matthew 28:16-20).
The scriptures make God’s heart for the world clear to us and because of that we are greatly overjoyed when men and women from around the world make their way through our doors. We see it as an opportunity to not only learn from their amazing stories and serve their acute care needs, but to share the love of Christ with them by the way we serve. God has a heart for the nations. If we are sharing His love in our building, it should not surprise us when the nations show up.
For 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 serve the people of the world in our clinic? Find out your next step here.