Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic
The Initial Gift – Faith, Nicaragua, and Chiropractic
by Sherman '09 Graduate, Jeff Wiederhold, D.C.
When Chosen Children's Ministry (CCM) organized a mission trip to Nicaragua this summer with First Baptist Church North Spartanburg, I signed up, not only to do God's work but to bring chiropractic to as many people as I could in this third world country.
Shortly before the trip, I had landed a new job working as an associate in a chiropractic office, starting two weeks after my return from Nicaragua. After discussing my contract, I felt God’s still small voice telling me to give Him my first week's pay check of $500. How could I possibly deny God this request after all He has brought me through, including how He has blessed me by making me a chiropractor?
In fact, it was only by divine intervention that I even made it to Nicaragua, as I was told that processing my license would take until the end of August, and then it would be another 10 days for me to receive it in the mail. However, I needed my license in my hands before we left for Nicaragua on July 24. Miraculously, I got my license six weeks early, only taking three days to come in the mail, just in time for the trip. I was still discouraged, however, because the Nicaraguan Government did not process the paperwork I needed to advertise myself legally as a chiropractor. Still, I kept my faith that God would provide and decided to go on the trip anyway.
Two days into the busy trip I was working with the construction crew when I finally got an opportunity to use chiropractic. The leader of our mission team gathered a few of the Nicaraguans that were working on the site, and through an interpreter I explained to them about chiropractic. This was exciting because, unlike in the U.S., these people have no preconceived ideas about chiropractic. Chiropractic is not yet in any of their vocabularies. I explained how chiropractic could improve health and function in the body. Then I showed them that chiropractic is extremely safe by adjusting our team leader in front of them. They were hesitant at first, but after some time, I got the chance to check every member of the construction crew and the family that lived in the house where we were working.
Because the Nicaraguan paperwork was not processed before we left, I couldn’t bring my portable adjusting table into the country. However, we brought some supplies in plastic trunks, so I made a table with a couple of these trunks, a couple of pillows and a portable Thuli headpiece. This makeshift table is how I took care of everyone I adjusted while in Nicaragua.
I was excited to have the opportunity to bring chiropractic to some people who had never heard of it before. Yet I became discouraged, as I was not seeing the numbers of people that I had planned on, due directly to the legal issues. Nevertheless, I had no choice but to keep my faith strong and believe that God still had a task for me in Nicaragua.
On Wednesday, halfway through our trip, we were looking over a poor area called Emanuel with one of the Nicaraguan pastors from the area. CCM’s ministry had just started to reach this area of Emanuel, and the pastor was showing us land that they had picked to build their church, though they needed $500 to purchase this land. The mention of that number took my breath away--the exact amount God was telling me to give to Him just a few weeks earlier. In that moment, I felt the Lord speaking to my heart, and I knew exactly how the money would be used.
Throughout all the discouraging things that tried to keep me from going on this trip, God had brought me to Nicaragua to purchase this land for this church to be built. I could have easily backed out of the trip when I learned that chiropractic would only be part of my work in Nicaragua. I could have kept a poor attitude during the trip, but instead I choose to believe. I had the privilege the next day at an adult Bible study meeting of announcing to the pastor that I was buying the land for the church. That same day God also honored me by allowing me to give chiropractic care to some people in desperate need of it.
Through my experience, I learned much. First, I learned that there is a great need for chiropractors to travel uncharted territory, especially for Sherman graduates to teach people about chiropractic wellness. People all over the world have never heard what we can do for them, and they will live their entire lives with subluxations and health problems caused by these subluxations. They will never know that life does not have to be this way unless someone is willing to go tell them. One week is enough to make a significant difference in people's lives.
Second and more important, I learned always to have faith in God despite obstacles, even if my own plans are not working out the way I expected. God’s plans are always better. God had a plan that went beyond what I could see, but my trust in Him allowed that plan to be fulfilled. How exciting it is to think how many lives will be changed from His work through that church! The need for ministry in these countries even outweighs the need for chiropractic. Because of my willingness to have faith, God allowed me to spend a week meeting both of these needs in the country of Nicaragua.
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Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic
P.O. Box 1452, Spartanburg, SC 29304