The Service Corps experience

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Testimonial: Jamaica

by Megan McQuade –

The team in Jamaica

I don’t think anything could have prepared me for what I experienced during a recent hospital visit.

Previously, we made a house call to pray for former Corps Sgt. Major Brother Wells, who had been battling prostate cancer and had reached the point where he could no longer get out of bed. Walking into his room that night to pray for him, I sensed his kindhearted eyes usher in a peace that can only come from God. As we began to pray for healing, I felt like I had known Brother Wells for years. After we prayed I felt sure that this man would be healed.

Days later, we learned that Brother Wells had been taken to the hospital, so we went to visit him. When we arrived, I thought it was a mistake. The building appeared more like an abandoned factory than a place for healing. The aged hospital was small and stuffy with humid air. We walked down a single hall and spotted Brother Wells’ wife and Lt. Col. Pierre.

Packed into a space the size of a hotel room were eight hospital beds occupied by patients suffering from various injuries and illnesses. In the bed next to Brother Wells was a man with a gunshot wound, handcuffed to his bed and accompanied by a police escort. Across from him was a rasta [drug dealer] with a broken ankle. Cancer patients sharing the same space as gunshot wound victims and drug dealers?

Up to this point, the scene was sad but tolerable, until I actually looked at Brother Wells. He was once a strong, hardworking construction worker and had even built Pierre’s home. Now this man could hardly move, but his same kindhearted, joyful and peace-filled eyes stared back at me as he made a joke about my hands feeling “like an ice-box!”

Pierre led a song and began to pray for Brother Wells. To my surprise the prayer was one of peace and joy rather than healing. God somehow used a man on his deathbed in rotting conditions to shine his love.

When we joined our other team members in the children’s ward, it was equally unbelievable. Rows of “cribs” (if you consider a metal cage a crib) lined the walls filled with crying infants. Small children with big eyes waved up at us as we walked through the hall in our uniforms. It was a sight I will never forget.

Although our visit to the hospital lasted for only a half hour, the images I saw during that time will play though my mind for a lifetime. What I described cannot even come close to the sickening conditions of that hospital. Please pray for change in Jamaica. This hospital is an example of social injustice. As long as this hospital continues to run in its current state, I’ll fight!

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