Volunteer Spotlight: Ben

Tell us a little about yourself

I am a 2nd year Medical Student at Wayne State School of Medicine. I was born in Midland, MI, went to school at University of Michigan, and moved to Detroit last summer. My goal as a future  doctor is to enter into the suffering of others and be with them there. I feel called to press into those dark places that often get hidden or ignored. It is not in my power to save people from darkness, but I can arm myself with His word and ask Him to use me in the story He is writing.

How did you get interested in volunteering with us?

The first few years of medical school are based in the classroom without a lot of interaction with people. I wanted to spend my summer in a way that had an impact in the present. Covenant was the perfect fit because it gave space for multiple passions of mine: medicine, spirituality, and the Hispanic population.

What did you do with us this summer?

I had three main roles. First, the main way I feel I contributed was through organizing and cleaning. Though the least glamorous of my roles, it was time well spent and will hopefully have a lasting impact on the everyday activity of the clinic. My other two roles left behind less tangible effects, but were more personally impactful. Second, I helped patients in the waiting room sign-up for the patient portal. This was precious experience because the vast majority of people I talked with were most comfortable with Spanish. It gave me the opportunity to practice speaking Spanish, learn some new medical vocabulary, and listen to many stories. It was firsthand experience in the importance of language. I feel further inspired to pursue fluency so that I can speak to future friends and patients directly. Third, I journeyed through the streets of Detroit with the outreach team. I can no longer claim ignorance to the cracks and brokenness of social systems in place. I am also more aware of the barriers to healthcare people confront on the streets. But, the people I encountered take up the largest space in my heart. There are some I am sure I will never forget. In the future, when I encounter a homeless man or a woman addicted to drugs or anyone else who seems to have “messed up”, the stories from this summer will resound within me, and I will remember to pursue the person beyond their situation. The outreach team taught me that, for one person, it takes an average of seven tries at rehab before there is success. They do not give up on people. As a physician, I hope I can model for my colleagues this ceaseless pursuit and be rooted in the unfailing love and kindness of the Lord.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *