“It was absolutely the most ludicrous thing I’d ever thought of, and I quickly pushed it aside,” Rachel Marcano says, recalling the impression to intern in Colombia at our sister school, Las Delicias. Rachel is a health major from the English-speaking island of Trinidad, and planned to return there after an internship at Uchee Pines. “But God wouldn’t leave me in peace!” says Rachel. She finally contacted Las Delicias just to check out the possibility, and they quickly responded that they would love to have her—“another ludicrous moment!”
Although Rachel decided she definitely wasn’t going to Colombia, God had other ideas and worked miracles to get her there. Financial needs were met, and a serious head injury was healed enough for her to go. Still amazed at God’s providences, Rachel found herself ministering as a hydrotherapist in a Hispanic lifestyle center.
What has the experience been like? “During my time here in Colombia, I’ve been challenged to lead others and to learn more Spanish. I’ve had to leave my comfort zone and plunge into the work, simply because there’s such need. Above all, I’m learning to make God my strength and sufficiency. I’m learning to trust God, and not myself.” An experience that especially taught her this was treating a 3-year-old girl with cancer:
“I don’t know if you can imagine giving a fever bath to a 3-year-old while she screams and fights, but it was heart-breaking, heart-wrenching. Every day that I ministered to her was a day filled with the power that God alone gave me to do so. As time passed, she stopped fighting and screaming and actually began to enjoy the fever baths. We became friends.” Rachel also befriended the girl’s grandmother and was able to witness to her and encourage her.
While Hartland’s classes in nutrition, hydrotherapy, and massage equipped Rachel for this ministry, working in Hartland’s Lifestyle Education Center taught her the most useful skill: “To think! This has enabled me to work more efficiently, analyze situations, and come up with solutions.”
What about her future? Rachel realizes this internship is preparing her to fulfill her vision of training others to do medical missionary work and start small lifestyle centers, not only in the Caribbean, but now also in Central and South America. With hindsight, she sees that God’s plan was not ludicrous after all!