Hello everyone this is Ruben!  This is my first of what I hope will be many posts as time goes on.  I’d like to start by sharing an experience that greatly impacted me several weeks ago.

As the Ship Security Officer I typically don’t walk around the Africa Mercy in scrubs,  but I found myself in a pair early one morning as I prepared to observe two surgeries on board the ship.  At security screenings and around the ship I am able to see our patients before they undergo procedures and the results afterwards, but I wanted to be able to see first hand the transformation as it occurred.  I had seen how the operation rooms look when they are prepared for operations but besides that I had no idea what to expect.  Just prior to entering the operation theatre I wondered if I would get queasy and if it would end up being an experience that would leave me wanting to never return and stick to my normal tasks in the organization’s mission of bring hope and healing to the forgotten poor.

I observed a plastic surgery involving skin grafts and a maxillofacial surgery.  I entered the first operating room to find the surgical team already at work. They were working on a child who had suffered burns to the hand and was severely contracted. The process involved taking good, scar-free skin from the lower belly and grafting it onto the hand.

As I was watching the surgeons with the delicate skin and intricacies of the grooves in between the fingers, I couldn’t help but think of how beautifully complex the design of the human body is. Full of beauty and wonder, God truly designed our bodies in the image of his Spirit. Through this new experience of watching surgeons handle and utilize different parts of the body to make the body more beautiful and functional, it was hard not to be reminded of God’s nature in the midst of their work. His goodness, his creativity, and his awesomely unique design for us showed through.

Similarly, God revealed himself down the hall in the maxillofacial operating theater as well. A massive tumor had a chance for his final word before he was mercilessly removed from his hosts chin. As I watched this ugly, massive unwanted guest sliced free from this man’s face, I thought it’s exactly what Jesus does for our souls. He comes into the ugliness of our lives to restore us to the men and women he had intended for us to be.

“And we, who with unveiled faces contemplate the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18.

To watch miracles in the making was overwhelming and brought even more meaning to the work we do but also to the transformation Jesus gives to all of our lives.  Also I do look pretty good in a set of scrubs so who knows… maybe one day I’ll be working in that OR 🙂

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