News & Stories


Think Horses, not Zebras

Often God chooses to work when his people “show up” and go where he leads. Their presence and offering what they have and know to those who need it, points many to the God they serve. A doctor working at a medical clinic reports:

“Recently I’ve been working at a clinic made up of volunteer doctors from the U.S. We offer medical services to people with little money. On one of my first days I saw a young man with heart palpitations, a symptom that could have many causes. Our clinic is free, and we can give away medications, but any lab work and other tests must be obtained from one of the local hospitals for a fee.

“In medical school, we had a saying: ‘When you hear hoof beats, think horses, not zebras’ – meaning that we should think of the common diseases first rather than the unusual ones. But here in China, I often think about less common diseases because we see more uncommon things in our patients. So with this patient, I wanted to order some tests for his heart. Even so, I felt reluctant because I knew how much it would cost for this poor villager who traveled quite a distance from northern Yunnan Province to receive care. Although I still didn’t get the tests that I really wanted, we were able to get enough tests and give him some medication to help him feel better.

“Sometimes I’m torn between the realities of life here —survival, finances, living from day to day—and life back home where I wouldn’t think twice about ordering something I needed for a patient. The reality here is that healthcare is not a right but a privilege. Not everyone has access to healthcare—whether it is good or bad. So the patients at this clinic are very grateful for the care they receive. This ends up being a testimony for our Lord.”

Matthew 25:40 “The King will reply,‘I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.’ Would God have you “show up” with the skills he has given you?

Share this post

Get Involved

Have Questions? Send us an email.

To help you serve better, kindly fill all the fields (required). Your query will be routed to the relevant OMF team.

Contact Form

By clicking Submit, you agree that we may process your information in accordance with the terms in our Privacy Policy.

You’re on the OMF International website.
We have a network of centres across the world.
If your country/region is not listed, please select our International website.