Monday, November 12, 2007

My Testimony

Hi! My name is Catherine McQuaid and I am a missionary on deputation to the country of Papua New Guinea.

I was saved at a very early age under my mother’s faithful teaching. In the early years of elementary school, I surrendered my life to the Lord for whatever He would have me to do. Then, a few years later, I went forward in a church service to publicly indicate that I believed God was calling me to be a medical missionary. As time went by, I wondered if my call had been only a childish dream, but the Lord continued to confirm His will as I grew older.

While attending college and majoring in nursing, I had the opportunity to spend two months with a mission team in Kenya, East Africa. While there assisting a medical missionary couple my eyes were opened to the many ways that God has molded me for this kind of ministry.

A few years later, I had another opportunity to spend two months on the mission field. I went to Kiari, Papua New Guinea and worked with Jon and Shelley Calhoun. Kiari is a small village of about 4000 people located in the central mountainous region of Papua New Guinea. In 2000, the Calhouns planted a church there as well as a medical outreach. As I assisted in the women’s and children’s ministries of the church and worked in the clinical ministry, the Lord began to grow in me a love and burden for the people of New Guinea. They live in what many Americans would consider extreme poverty, in huts with dirt floors and possessions scarcely more than the clothes on their backs. But their greatest need is not money, or better housing, or nicer clothing. These people need the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

When the time arrived for me to return to the States, I did not want to leave. I began praying that the Lord would grant me the opportunity to spend my life ministering in Papua New Guinea. For the next few years, family responsibilities occupied my time. But in the summer of 2006, the Lord gave me peace about returning to New Guinea as a full time missionary with GFA.

The ministry in Kiari is currently under the direction of Randy and Elena Smith. While they are continuing the church’s ministries, they do not have any medical training and have had to temporarily close the clinic. I am excited about the role I believe the Lord is calling me to fulfill in this ministry. Opportunities to teach and disciple the women and children are abundant, and I looking forward to being involved in evangelism both through personal contacts and the church’s existing outreach ministries. I also plan to use my medical training to reopen the clinic outreach and minister to the numerous health needs of the people. Lord willing, I eventually hope to take medical evangelism trips into neighboring villages where the gospel has never been preached.

It is a blessing to see how the Lord has taken my childhood desire and brought it to fruition. There have been many challenges along the way, but He has proven His wisdom and faithfulness as He has accomplished His will for my life. Truly, as Psalm 18:30 states, “As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is tried: He is a buckler to all them that trust in Him.”