Compassion Services International (CSI) was founded in 1986 to help suffering people during disasters and crises overseas. Medical missions trips have become an important part of CSI’s efforts to accomplish this mission. The most recent medical missions relief trip to Puerto Rico took place November 12-17 and included healthcare professionals from across the U.S. For one team member, Karissa Dorf, a registered nurse who works in interventional radiology, this is medical missions trip number five. Sis. Dorf is from the Greater Chicago area where she attends Life Church of Rock Run in Joliet, Illinois, pastored by Bro. Brent Brosam. There she teaches Sunday school, directs the nursery, and stays involved. When asked about what made her choose healthcare as a profession, Sis. Dorf said, “I’ve almost always wanted to be a nurse. As far back as four years old, I would be playing ‘nurse’.”
Missions was another component at work in Sis. Dorf during the formative years of her life. In high school, she went on two missions trips to Spain. The medical missions burden for her began in 2014 during her first exposure to healthcare in a missions setting when she traveled to Ghana, West Africa as part of an Apostolic Youth Corps (AYC) trip. “We visited a local hospital while there. That was really the moment when a desire was ignited to combine my training as a nurse with missions work,” she said. It was also on this trip that Bro. James Poitras was sharing missions opportunities and one of those he mentioned was CSI. Quickly, Sis. Dorf transferred her burden into action. She took her first trip in 2015 and since then has taken part in five CSI medical missions trips: to Dominican Republic, Haiti, Ecuador, Haiti, and most recently Puerto Rico.
“It’s the opportunity to do both physical and spiritual work,” she said when asked about why she chose CSI for medical missions. “CSI works closely with humanitarian workers/missionaries in each location. This allows for a longer lasting effect on the communities we visit.” While the medical relief and service is an important component to these trips, what stands out most to Sis. Dorf is the ability to pray with patients and make lifelong friendships with like-minded CSI team members.
When asked how these CSI medical missions trips have changed her, she said, “I have a fresh and renewed outlook that people in my own community need Jesus. I am reminded to share the love of Jesus and to be His hands and feet to everyone. I started volunteering at our local women’s shelter after traveling with CSI. Do it. It is very rewarding. You will not be disappointed.”
If you are interested in joining our volunteer database, please visit compassionservices.org and choose the Volunteer Info tab. This allows you to enter the group of potential participants for upcoming trips and projects.