My ALWI Testimony
I held my breath as she staggered up ALWI’s wooden steps, her arm hovering slightly over the railing. Seconds earlier she had expressed to me her desire to climb the stairs on her own. I was a little nervous, but after attempting to convince her otherwise, I complied. As she reached the top stair, I grinned and shouted a loud hooray and she lifted her arms triumphantly. “I haven’t done that on my own in years!” she exclaimed. “My husband always had to help me..” I paused for a moment, reflecting on her statement and the victory I almost robbed her. This was merely one in a series of victories in her story. One of many things she had not done in years. One of the many times she climbed the stairs before she subsequently ran up the flight. One of many life-altering moments I was privileged to witness as a lifestyle counselor--all in the span of ten days.
Spending a year at the Abundant Life Wellness Institute overhauled the way I viewed medicine. I find it humorously paradoxical that the building I dedicated my college freshman weekends to constructing would end up reconstructing me. I knew that love and compassion were healing elements in a patient’s experience, but as a future medical student and physician, it was natural to underestimate the power of nature, the body’s restorative ability, and adherence to the overall laws of health. At each session, I learned how crucial each health law was and the power of putting Christ first and foremost.
There is no better way for me to describe my experience at ALWI than one that conjures up the warmest and fondest of my emotions. I LOVED working at the wellness center! I will never forget the feeling of witnessing my guests’ smiles as they told me the medications they recently eliminated, or their interest in the Bible Study we recently covered at worship. Many of the guests, struggling with issues like chronic pain, heart disease, or diabetes came to the center searching for a ray of hope in their experience. They may not have otherwise been able to obtain the services and resources we liberally provided, but their deep gratitude, commitment to healing, and spiritual growth was recompense enough. I will never forget the joy of working with Christ-centered colleagues towards a common goal. Developing friendships, praying together, laughing together, and planning for the well-being of our guests created a family environment that made us stronger as a team. Lastly, I will never forget the peace and confidence that settled over the exhaustion of a long day, and the excitement of getting to do it all over again. Each day, though requiring the best of my energy, was fraught with new challenges, blossoming friendships, and ample opportunity to impact the lives entrusted to our care.
Working at ALWI, I witnessed so much growth and change that it gave me confidence in God’s healing methods in the lives of my future patients. It was an opportunity unlike any other, and one that will remain a reference point for me to the power of obedience, perseverance, and faith.