Grasping my Purpose as a Doctor in an HIV Hospital


MSI Zhaojue Medical Consultant during 2012-2019

Before joining MSI, I knew that I could serve as a doctor, but I had no idea how that would work out. After serving for 12 months in the HIV hospital, I realise that my main job is to live out Christ’s love and compassion daily.

While making daily ward rounds with the doctors at the HIV hospital, QR looked just like all other patients with pulmonary tuberculosis. One evening, however, QR’s condition suddenly worsened and she gasped for air all night. A chest x-ray confirmed that she had developed a large air leak from her lung and that the escaped air was now pushing on her lung from the outside. This was a medical emergency, so we called the surgeons to come and insert a chest tube to take the air out. But the surgeons delayed in coming, and her condition was deteriorating by the hour. Afraid that she would not make it through the night without any treatment, I inserted a needle into her chest – I had not done this in 10 years, so I quickly reviewed how to do the procedure on the Internet just 30 minutes before! As I drew out more and more air with the needle, QR began to breathe much easily. During the rest of her hospital stay, I prayed with her and her mother many times. Though they thanked me for saving her life, I told them that the one who saved her was the one true living and loving God, and that He wanted her to put her trust in Him.

A few months later, I saw QR at the HIV clinic, looking much healthier after starting HIV medication! Praise God, too, that QR and her mother were able to attend a local club’s Christmas outreach and heard the good news and testimonies from Yi believers.

Besides consulting on inpatients, I, Dr. Lim and two Yi nurses (who help us translate) also run a twice monthly HIV patient discussion group at the HIV hospital. Recently, when I asked the participants what other people living in their village think of them, one man said, “Because I have HIV, they treat me as if I am already dead, as if I am not even there.” My heart broke upon hearing that. I said to him in response, “Here at the HIV centre, all of us care for you. Here, you are among friends.”

I find my ministry here very fulfilling: caring for and counseling patients, teaching other doctors, even conducting a clinical research project. Yet, I really sense a spiritual darkness here. Jesus said in John 10:10 – “[the evil one] comes only to steal and kill and destroy”. In ZJ, HIV is devastating whole villages, killing young people, destroying families, and stealing joy. But Jesus also promised in that same verse: “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” Let us pray that the Yi people will have life to the full in Jesus.