Christmas Time at the Clinic!

Christmas is on it’s way and we’ve enjoyed getting to celebrate with our patients!

This year with Watermark’s Give and Go push, the clinic was blessed by many gifts to hand out to our patients! At the end of our visits we were able to bless any children that were on site with a small gift from Watermark members, a coloring book that shares the Christmas story, and invites to join us at Watermark’s Christmas Eve services. Thank you to the members and volunteers that helped to provide these resources!

If you don’t have somewhere to spend Christmas Eve we would LOVE to see you at Watermark! The service times and details are on their website here.

The clinic will be closed the 23rd-26th for Christmas this year. We will look forward to serving the community after the holidays!

 

 

 

 

Core Value Focus: DIGNITY

During the end of 2017 our volunteer team is focusing in on our core values which make up the acronym CARED. You can read more about our mission, vision, and values on the “about us” part of our website, but for today we want to focus in on our fifth value (the one we’re highlighting for the month of December). The D stands for DIGNITY. Our clinic fellow, Samantha Dupaquier, shares her thoughts below on how we can demonstrate this value in how we serve.

The iconic imagery of Christmas… a sweet, baby boy swaddled in a lowly manger only surrounded by his parents, farm animals, and a few visitors who had travelled far to meet him. To say the least, this was a humble arrival for the KING of kings – the Messiah. This unpretentious beginning shows us that factors like our environment, life circumstances, wealth of family, etc. don’t define our value and worth. Christ had great value; He is the Son of God and Savior of the World! We know that scripture also says mankind has great value, made in God’s image and invited to be children of God!

At QuestCare we have the privilege to CARE for our patients in a way that points to their DIGNITY. Regardless of their background, income, living or family situations, we know that every single person that comes through our doors has innate dignity, value, and worth. We know this to be true because they were created in the image of the one true God (Genesis 1:27),and were given worth and value by the ultimate sacrifice of Christ (Romans 5:8). Because of this, we CARE for our patients knowing that He has already CARED for them (1 John 4:19).

Our patients were created by God, in the image of God.

“So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.” –Genesis 1:27

In the creation story, we see God make many beautiful and amazing things. But it isn’t until He gets to mankind that he determines He will make them in His own image. This was a new thing, and reflects a new intention in God’s creation story. By being made in the image of God, that means all mankind reflects God’s likeness. No matter how far an individual has walked away from God, no matter what they believe about Him; in their very existence is a connection to their Creator, whether they choose to acknowledge it or not. This means we have been given an intrinsic baseline to respond to. No matter what circumstances life has brought to the person we’re engaging with, at their baseline is someone made in the image of God. And that is who we’re responding to during our patient visit.

Our patients were given value and worth because of the ultimate sacrifice of Christ.

“…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”  –Romans 5:8

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” – John 3:16

Scripture reminds us that Christ’s sacrifice was for sinners, not imaginary perfect people, and that it was a sacrifice made for the whole world, not just for people who have chosen to follow Jesus. His sacrifice was all encompassing from the deepest depth of pain and sin to the widest breadth of people around the world. We get to reflect this truth in how we engage with our patients. The act of love of Jesus on the cross doesn’t require any “cleaning up” or change in status or circumstances. Salvation requires acceptance alone. We know that we are meeting people in the midst of chaos, pain, and suffering. We have the unique privilege to remind them (no matter who they are or what they’ve done) that right NOW God loves them and gave Himself for them. They do not have to clean their lives up for Him to accept them. They just have to respond to His love and He’ll take care of the rest. The offering of this gift of salvation has within it a bestowed value for all to whom it was offered- and thats EVERYONE!

 

We CARE because they are already CARED for. 

“We love because he first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19

The love we get to share with our patients comes from a place of confidence and rest because it is from an overflow of the love we have already received in Christ. We are not mustering up our own strength to love in these ways, but are just reflecting the love we have already experienced. This kind of freeing, self-sacrificing love can only come from Christ!

 

Why we do what we do.

Our core values point to this truth. That we CARE because we are are already CARED for. If we are striving from our own abilities to show compassion, be accessible, be relational, and do all things with excellence, without being rooted in this truth of the DIGNITY God has given each of us, we will burn ourselves out and be wasting our time. The body is a temporary vessel, and it will continually fail us. We will be here every time we can to treat the urgent care needs in front of us, but we know that if we are able to impact someone’s view of eternity during their visit by pointing them to their DIGNITY that this investment will go well beyond healing their temporary ailments.

We count it a privilege to serve in this way! if you have ever been blessed by our clinic and have seen us exemplify these values and have questions on where that faith comes from it would be our pleasure to talk more!

Core Value Focus: EXCELLENCE

During the end of 2017 our volunteer team is focusing in on our core values which make up the acronym CARED. You can read more about our mission, vision, and values on the “about us” part of our website, but for today we want to focus in on our fourth value (the one we’re highlighting for the month of November). The E stands for EXCELLENCE. One of our shift leaders, Victoria Bragg shares her thoughts below on how we can demonstrate this value in how we serve. 

 

Imagine this: a guy walks into QuestCare. He has shoulder length dark hair and is dressed in a white robe. He comes to the front desk and asks for help with the paperwork. The man is so kind and has these deep eyes that see right into your soul. How could you resist helping?

So you take the paperwork and ask, “What’s your first name?” He replies, “Jesus”. You look up at him thinking he must be crazy but he just looks straight back at you with those beautiful eyes. Then you say, “What’s your last name?” He says, “Christ, that’s C-H-R-I-S-T.” At this point, you’re thinking, “seriously dude?’ Then you ask him, “What are you here for?” He says, “A sore throat,”  So you turn over the paperwork and ask him to sign the back. You hand him a pen and when he takes it you notice the holes in his hands. Oh my!

This imaginary scene reminds me of Colossians 3:23-24:

“Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward.”

How do we work for the Lord? Why is one of our core values to do our work with excellence?

Excellence is not the same as perfection. Excellence is doing the right thing to the best of our ability. We know that perfection is unattainable (Romans 6:23). When we do things with excellence we have a heart that is full of joy and an attitude that pleases the Lord. Perfection leads to frustration with ourselves and with others.  Excellence flows from a joyful, fully engaged heart. By doing things with excellence at QuestCare we have a chance to glorify God and shine our light to show others who He is.

There are specific ways that the staff at QuestCare has made it possible for both volunteers and staff to shine professionally. One way is through our computer templates which allow us to enter patient information accurately and efficiently. We also work as a team to keep our facilities clean and presentable. Additionally, we follow the clinic flow of procedures to be efficient and effective which allows us to spend relational time in patient rooms. When we follow these standards and procedures with excellence it causes our patients to see something different and ask us where it comes from. What a chance to share Jesus with them!

And at the core of it, our desire is to treat the many special people Jesus brings through our doors with excellent care. I was reminded of how important this was just last week. I called for my patient to come back to be seen from the waiting room, but he was not there. Then, I looked out the window and found him taking a puff of a cigarette. His lack of being in the lobby ready for me and how he took care of his body had my mind wander into judgement. I thought, “No wonder you’re here buddy, you’re killing yourself by smoking.”

I took our patient back to the room.  He patient looked Middle-Eastern and was there for chest pain. As I used the language line to ask more questions about his symptoms and what he thought might be causing them, I was surprised to hear one of his answers.

“I was tortured in a prison two years ago.”

I noticed that he was wearing a silver cross around his neck. I asked the interpreter, ”What happened in prison and why were you tortured?” The patient’s eyes began to fill with tears as he shared how he had been beaten and his ribs had been broken. He explained that in his home country you would be tortured if the authorities found out that you are a Christian.  He said, “I was tortured for my faith in Jesus Christ.”

In that moment, God opened my eyes to greatly respect my patient. And in my mind’s eye I saw a glimpse of Jesus pass by and whisper to me, “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” (Matthew 25:40)

Think back to that opening scene of Jesus checking into the clinic. At QuestCare and in life, we will most likely not see Jesus in the flesh or have the chance to check him in as a patient and give Him excellent medical care. BUT we can be sure that one day we  will stand before him and look into His eyes and see his hands that bear the marks of the work he did with excellence when He lived a perfect life on the earth and died to save us. And hopefully, He will look at us and recount the times we treated His people, His followers, and the hurting in this world with excellence. He might say “I saw how you treated that person who was yelling at you. I saw you with that patient. I saw you stand firm in your love for your children. I saw you fight for your marriage. I saw you pursue your community. I saw all of that. You did that for me.”

At QuestCare we work to maintain a standard of excellence not only because it glorifies God but also because we never know who will come through our doors next. Jesus tends to show up in these patient rooms more often than we think.

Are you Unashamed?

During the weekend of October 13th,  a team of QuestCare volunteers partook in Watermark’s Unashamed Weekend; an in-town mission trip designed to help participants catch a vision for how they can serve and reach their city.

QuestCare volunteers and staff spent Friday night visiting locations around the city to pray over specific topics like abortion, refugee care, college students, homelessness, and sex trafficking.

After worshipping together that night, enjoying some fun and games, and getting some rest, they then woke up on Saturday morning early to  help with Brother Bills Helping Hand (BBHH) in West Dallas. Through BBHH our team went door to door in West Dallas, serving elderly residents with grocery delivery and conversation. This was one of the most impactful times for our participants; seeing the men and women we were serving in their homes and sensing how much a simple thing like conversation blessed them.

The team together after serving that morning at Brother Bill’s.

On Saturday afternoon our team was sent out to uptown to share the gospel with men and women we met, and then wrapped up with a group dinner to share stories and attend Awaken in Klyde Warren Park.

Sharing stories at dinner together of the gospel going forward on Saturday.

On Sunday morning we got to join Concord, a predominantly African-American church in South Dallas, for their services. This gave us the chance to see what the body of Christ looks like across different geographies and demographics within our own city!

 

So why did medical clinic volunteers go on a weekend like this? 

At the core of the medical services we provide is a desire to share with our patients about the God that created them and point them to the eternal healing He can provide. During a weekend like this our volunteers are given the chance to practice sharing that truth and to catch a vision and heart for the city they’re called to serve.

You can see some of their stories from the weekend in the following blogs!

If you serve with us and think this looks like fun- it was! We’ll be doing this as a clinic team annually, make sure to watch your email to join! Until then, you can continue to practice sharing the gospel here at the clinic or join Unashamed any month on our own that they do a trip! Check out the details on Watermark’s website. 

Core Value Focus: RELATIONAL

During the end of 2017 our volunteer team is focusing in on our core values which make up the acronym CARED. You can read more about our mission, vision, and values on the “about us” part of our website, but for today we want to focus in on our third value (the one we’re highlighting for the month of October). The R stands for RELATIONAL. Here’s our long time volunteer and newest staff member, Laura Dever’s, take on how this core value plays out. 

 

How do we make medicine relational here at the clinic?

To start, it’s impossible to relate to someone we do not see. 

I’m reminded of Zacchaeus, in Luke 19, who climbed up a tree thinking Jesus wouldn’t necessarily see him, but he would at least get to see Jesus coming through the crowds. To Zacchaeus’ surprise, Jesus did see him, a little man with a broken past. Jesus came to where he was, looked up and spoke to him and went with him to his house. Zacchaeus’ response? He was thankful and glad that he was seen and invited into a relationship. He was so thankful that he righted the wrongs in his life and found freedom in a relationship with Jesus.

Many patients coming to our clinic walk in with the similar expectation Zacchaeus had when he climbed that tree. They are here, hoping to see a doctor, but not necessarily anticipating to be seen by one beyond the medical part of their visit. They come expecting normal medical lingo during intake, answering questions about their medical history and symptoms.

But we aren’t any normal clinic. As we aim to reflect the love of Jesus during our visits, the normal patient interaction shifts. At our clinic that means asking about more than a patient’s medical history. We want to see our patients more deeply, looking beyond the chief complaint that had them come in our doors, and seeing the whole human that’s visiting with us that day.

One simple way we do that in our patient rooms is by making it a goal to ask that one extra question that may give insight to their current situation and relate more to what’s going on in their life. This does not mean our volunteers have a list of deep personal questions they go through with every patient. No, this simply means asking our patients about their tattoo, a hobby they have, what they did this weekend, what family or friend they brought with them, or what they plan on doing with the rest of their day.

Questions like these help us to truly see our patients and get to know them beyond their medical complaint. We make medicine relational, not transactional, and once we know more about the person we’re interacting with we’re better equipped to meet the holistic needs of the patient in front of us. How can we fix back pain if we are so rushed or dismissive that we don’t find out about the patient’s job, which is a main contributor? Good medicine demands being relational, and the gospel is centered on a relational message.

I have seen this done so well here by so many volunteers and staff. Some of the best stories I’ve heard started with a person sitting down in a room in front of another human being, looking them in the eyes and asking genuinely, “How are you doing?”. To be relational is a rarity in our day in age where transactions are the norm and expected. Think about your time in the grocery store, gas station, restaurants, etc. Although we are interacting with other humans, we’re not really getting to know them. Conversations are full of platitudes and usually boil down to an attitude of “you give me this, I’ll give you that”.

We want to be a drastically different interaction in our patient’s daily lives. We want this clinic to be a place where people are met by friends who care about more than just their physical problems. Friends who want to know the health of the person as a whole: physical, emotional, and spiritual. Friends that actually see them for the whole human being that they are.

At the end of the day, we do this because we know Jesus has come down to us, seen every part of our broken lives, and still chose to make a way for us to have a relationship with Him. What a privilege it is to reflect His relational heart through our daily interactions here!