"This place has been such a blessing to my family..."
In years past, the patient stories we’ve shared have usually come from personal relationships our staff or volunteers have built. We saw stories like Shuja, Milagro, and Rochelle develop day by day as our staff and volunteers walked alongside them during and after their visits to our clinics.
But this year, we’ve noticed an uptick in a different type of story. These are the stories that fly back and forth with excitement on our staff group text because to us…they are a surprise.
Our staff will attend a worship event at church and sit next to someone who’s first touch point with Watermark was our clinic. We’ll run into someone on the children’s team that shares how they met a family on Sunday morning that came asking about kid’s ministry because someone had given them information they received at the clinic. We’ll hear a story from a friend that their Uber driver went to one of our clinics and has since visited Watermark on a Sunday.
And sometimes, as was the case with Anita, a patient will come back to our clinics and unless we dig a little we stand the chance of missing another incredible surprise clinic story that the Lord has written right in front of us.
Anita and her daughter Riley were on site at our clinic on a day that we already had a photographer there to capture some photos of our new staff. Our provider Amy had already conducted the visit and taken care of Riley’s ear infection that brought them into the clinic. During the visit Anita shared that she and her family had recently started going to Watermark’s Plano campus. While our photographer was on site, we asked Anita if she’d be open to us grabbing a photo with Amy for our print materials.
Anita was excited about that idea, and eager to share more about her story with us. As we grabbed some photos and got to talking more, we found out Anita had been to the clinic a few times in the past. She has three kids and works in childcare, so both her children and her are at risk of bringing lots of germs home. She had originally heard about the clinic through a mom’s group on Facebook; someone in the group went to Watermark and shared about the clinic as a resource. Anita saved the link and when one of her littles began complaining of a sore throat, she remembered the resource.
Anita had immigrated from Nigeria in college and had been hard at work since- learning the language, the culture, studying, starting work, and building her family. During her visit to the clinic she remarked on how kind the volunteers and staff were. She was surprised that one volunteer, Judy, offered to pray with her during the visit, and even more surprised that her kids asked to return to the clinic after leaving.
“Honestly at that time we hadn’t been to church for a while, we were still looking for a home church…our old one was too far away. I didn’t know there was one near here, so Judy told me it was just down the street.”
Anita and her children went to Watermark Plano the following Sunday.
By the time Anita shared this detail, it clicked. We weren’t just grabbing photos of Amy at work. We were sitting across from someone who was now attending Watermark as a result of the care she received at our Plano Clinic. Suddenly, her excitement to share her story and help with photography made sense.
“This place has been such a blessing to my family. When we first came here, neither my husband’s nor my job offered insurance. As a mom, this clinic has taken at least one thing off my list to worry about. If we get sick, my kids and I don’t have to suffer. If I took my kids to the ER for the things we’ve been here for, that’d be over $800 by now. We’re a young family and we don’t have debt and don’t want to get into debt.”
“If there are other moms wondering how to care for their kids- come here. They take good care of us here, and you would think we have to pay a lot of money to get the quality of care we do. But you don’t. It’s all for just a donation.”
As for finding a church home, Anita and her family are continuing to get plugged into Watermark’s Plano Campus. Most recently she signed up to serve with international students, hoping to use her life experiences to serve new students coming to the United States.