As a girl, she knew in her heart God was calling her to someday be a doctor. And this knowledge gave her the determination to become a pediatrician. Medical school is not an easy prospect for anyone, but the fact that she was a young, single mom with a baby put her trust in God to the test.
If you ask her today, Dr. Lori Buffa will say that she ultimately succeeded because of God’s grace. With an astonished grin, she says, “I know it was God, because there were people in school who were smarter than me that didn’t make it. I know I never could have made it on my own.”
For Lori, taking care of children has been a ministry, not a career. So when she had the chance to join Joyce Meyer Ministries’ Hand of Hope medical/dental missions team on their trip to Madagascar, she was determined to go.
It was clear this mission would take her out of her comfort zone. Madagascar is a struggling country due to intense poverty, inadequate health care services, lack of food and clean water, and violent crimes that are common in areas where desperate people live. But the anticipation in Lori’s heart about God’s mission for her on foreign soil kept her excitement and expectation high.
From the beginning, she was touched by the gracious, thankful attitudes of the people as they waited patiently to receive care. Many needed basic treatment due to poor hygiene; a main source of bathing is a trash-infested lake and skin infections are common. The wound care team treated many pus-filled sores with worms in them. Infected teeth were also abundant, and the dental team pulled multiple teeth, bringing instant relief to people who had been living with constant pain.
The team spent one whole day washing children’s feet and treating wounds with antibiotics and clean dressings. A generous donation allowed the Hand of Hope team to purchase socks and shoes, so many children walked away with clean, protected feet. Lori, who is a mother of two, shared that it was a humbling privilege to wash feet of children who had never had a decent bath before. That’s a tragic situation for any parent to have to experience.
As a medical volunteer, Lori invested her money, time and heart to share Christ and love people half the world away from her home. And she’s praying about when she can go on her next God-appointed mission, which is inspiring and admirable, but not completely selfless determined that God sent me on this trip for ME, not so much for Madagascar,” she says.”
Prayer request submitted.