A Day in the Life of a Medical Missionary

Every interaction with hurting people is an opportunity to be the hands and feet of Christ.

From Message magazine issue "Ukraine Through Missionary Eyes"

For the past three decades, I have put my heart and soul into our ministry at Seigu Baptist Clinic in Papua New Guinea.
Every day, I wake up to the soft, musical sounds of the rainforest and am amazed by how blessed I am.

Only foreign missions, God’s amazing gift, could have done that for me. I’m so thankful.

Typically, my day starts at 4:30 a.m. It is the only quiet time I can find to refresh and prepare my heart for the busy day ahead. It also gives me enough time to make breakfast and lunch for my family and the clinic staff.

After the babies are washed and dressed, my sons are walking to work and school, and I am ready for the day, I enter my sanctuary—our medical clinic.

I love what I do, but that doesn’t make my job easy.

Just today, I treated a man with a huge mass in his chest that’s most likely cancer. We hugged, and I shared the gospel with him before sending him for an x-ray that I expect will bring ominous news.

I mourned a miscarriage with a young mom. And I shared the hope that her baby is safe in Jesus’ arms. If she put her faith in him, she could be with her baby again, someday.

I held a woman, who has had breast cancer since 2019. Her medical record is filled with referral notes and broken promises of biopsies and surgeries. Now, the cancer has spread throughout her entire body, and the end is near. Tears of frustration and pleading ran down my face, as I begged her for the hundredth time to embrace Christ as her Savior.

One by one, all day long, hurting people—desperate for medical care—walk through the clinic’s doors. Some I can’t even hope to cure. On my clinic wall, however, is the constant reminder, “I am not called to cure; I’m called to care.” So, I care for each patient, physically and spiritually.

On my walk home from the clinic, after seeing the last patient, my heart releases the many hurts and problems I have held in all day, placing them at God’s throne of grace in prayer.

At night, I’m just like every other mom, cooking dinner, washing dishes, bathing my babies, and snuggling them into their soft PJs. No matter how crazy our evening is, I’m thankful for God’s call on my life that led me to be a mama to these four, beautiful children.

By the time my head hits the pillow, I’m ready to let sleep take over. And as I close my eyes, I feel the joy of knowing that every life I touched that day was hugged, loved on, and taught about Jesus.

I’m called to care and share the gospel. So, that’s what I do.

Lori and Seigu Baptist Clinic care for:

678 pregnant women annually

22,000 patients annually

68 babies born annually

You can support gospel-centered, life-saving ministry in Papua New Guinea.

Lori Smith

Lori Smith and her husband Bill have been serving in Papua New Guinea since 1990. Together, they are church planters, using the tools of medical evangelism, baby care ministry, and theological education. Lori works alongside nationals at Seigu Baptist Clinic to provide quality healthcare to the surrounding areas. Support Lori and Bill's ministry.