Every year young doctors, who have just finished their residency programs and who strive to become professionals in their field as quickly as possible, come to work in our Agape clinic. This allows us to begin the process of sharing the love of God by building relationships between them, our clinic's employees, and other Christians.
Last year I heard a comment from a young doctor, who said: "Agape doctors are different!” I have always been interested in finding the answer to this question: "How do Agape doctors differ from doctors from the state and from other private clinics?” After thinking through various answers from many young doctors that I have collected over years, I can share the answer with you.
“Passion for excellence in profession and compassion towards a patient”
The Bible says, “Whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord!”, so we are called to experience the presence of the Lord in our profession in the middle of daily storms, tragedies of life, burnout, and all of life’s circumstances.
Agape missionaries teach that when a patient stands in front of the Agape doctor, it is necessary to imagine that it is the Lord standing in front of the doctor. Agape has been teaching this principle for 28 years.
Sometimes we use these secular terms to present this principle to medical students, residents, and medical educators – “compassionate medicine”, or “holistic approach in medicine”. By teaching this principle, we strive to change the face of the medical profession in Russia and use this principle for evangelism. In the public health system, the doctor works 12 hours a day and a doctor has about 15 minutes to interview the patient, examine the patient, make a diagnosis, and prescribe treatment. When a young doctor asks me: "Is it possible to see the Lord in every person during the crazy rhythm of the day?" I reply: "Start with one patient."
Dr. Diana is the one standing on the right.
About Dr. Diana:
Agape is behind developing her professionally and spiritually: encouraging her to be a witness for Christ in medical education. Thank you to those who gave so that we could support her in her post-doctoral studies!
From Dr. Diana,
The young medical generation, going through residency, is a special group of doctors, whose hearts are not yet hardened from the hardships of life, whose minds are not yet shaped into restricted thinking, who are often open to renewing their minds and hearts. It's a privilege to be able to interact with them and to sow seeds into their lives.
Recently being with them at a medical conference, during the coffee break, residents started discussing and advertising occultism, and I was listening and praying as I felt I couldn't keep silent. One of the residents looked at me and said (knowing that I am a believer): "Diana does not agree with us". This was the start of a conversation about the Bible and God's perspective on this. Two of the residents were still defending occultism, and the other 3 were listening to our conversation.
At the end I felt like I lost, as I was the only believer among them, and they had their own opinions. But later on the resident that was most resistant toward God opened the spiritual topic again and asked so many questions about God. I could see there was so much pain in her heart, as she thought God doesn't care about her life.
Every time we meet, we keep talking about spiritual topics, and she is very open to them now.
It's great how God can turn something that is felt like a lost battle into His exciting work.
Pray for these young doctors as they search their way through life.
Last summer I invited several residents to my home for shashlik (Russian barbeque), but due to work only one was able to come, and she came with her husband. We had nice time together and were able to share our testimonies with them.
As it is written, "I planted the seed, Apollos watered it, but God has been making it grow. So, neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow. The one who plants and the one who waters have one purpose, and they will each be rewarded according to their own labor. For we are co-workers in God’s service" (1Cor.3:6-9).
Pray for those who plant, and those who water in this medical field, so that all that God makes grow would be for His glory.
For more than 2 years Agape encouraged the Christian medical professionals in Russia (MHAR) to gather once a month to share their faith and Agape provided the medical offices for them free for the meetings.
Agape assisted to develop a Christian fellowship in Moscow and it grew in numbers. Now the Moscow chapter of MHAR gathers in various places in Moscow to reach out. So Agape played a critical role in developing the professional medical fellowship of Christians in Moscow.
Last December Dr. Vadim the leader of Moscow chapter of MHAR asked if I would like to share something with them in January 2020. I agreed and the topic of my presentation was: "The Burnout: Psychological and Biblical Perspectives" A pastor from a Moscow church was invited to come to share a message from the Word and I invited Dr Natalya (MONIKI) and several doctors from Agape clinic.
On Jan 17 at 6.30 p.m. Dr Bill came to meet with me and Dr Natalia and Dr Vadim said that the pastor who is supposed to come to share from the Word could not come because of health issues. I asked Dr Bill if he is willing to share about his faith. Dr. Bill's message to the doctors was, "Faith is not what you think or say, it is what you do”. Then I shared my presentation.
At the end we had tea and cookies. At the meeting was a man (anesthesiologist and health care administrator from Komi republic). I shared with his about the whole person approach Agape uses to teach the compassionate medical care. He invited me and Dr Natalia (who is a tutor in the subject) to come to Syktyvkar to share with the doctors at the Department of the Health care of the Komi Republic about the whole person approach in treatment.
So, we might impact quite a number of the medical professionals at the state administration level and share the love of God with them and then... who knows... maybe to call them to go to the expeditions in Komi Republic and encourage the native population to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.