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Brandon Sees Link Between Medical Studies and Mission Work

Apr 23, 2018

Brandon’s first day volunteering at the mission was a busy Monday morning. “They were short staffed and there was a long line out the door. I didn’t know what to expect.”

Within the first couple hours, Brandon had handed out coffee, loaded up a food pantry truckload, and even found himself manning the front desk. “I was on my own and I was worried about taking over without knowing anything. But they took me through this resource guide where everything is outlined. There wasn’t one request that we had to turn down. That’s what they do here. It’s everything across the board.”

Brandon is a nursing student at Azusa Pacific University, set to graduate in August. During his current semester, Brandon is completing 360 hours of community service in 14 weeks. He has given his time to other outreach centers, hospice care providers and wound care clinics, but he’s completed more hours at the mission than any other student in his class.

“You want to make that correlation—how does this work apply to what I’m going to be doing long term?” Brandon mused. “It is definitely connected. You don’t see it right off the bat. But the more you dig into it, you realize you’re seeing your patients on the streets.

“When you see them in a hospital bed, they tell you, ‘This is the situation I’m in,’ ‘This is what makes it hard for me,’—it’s one thing to hear it, but when you’re out there seeing people with heatstroke in the summer, freezing in the winter, the immense gap in resources, you start to realize, there is something bigger here than me taking care of this person. It’s not just getting them in and out. It’s, where are they coming from? Where are they going after they leave? Those are the connections you start to make.”

Brandon has helped input donations from major stores, marketed mission events, worked at the thrift store, and put together a teaching project based on nutrition.

“The mission is so necessary,” Brandon said. “There isn’t another organization up here like them. It’s like the starting point. There are a lot of services out there, but all of those resources are essentially available here, because if you come here with a question, they’ll send you in the right direction.

“The staff here are model citizens,” Brandon said. “They have super positive attitudes. If something goes wrong, they are calm, cool, collected. You have people coming through the door crying their eyes out—God only knows what they’ve been through—and they are just comforting, welcoming faces to see. This has been the perfect place for me to serve.”

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