Sunday, August 05, 2007

A Sick Weekend


Hyun received free tickets to Michael Moore's documentary, Sicko, so we went to see it this weekend. This movie takes a look at the US health care system (or lack of it I should say) and compares it to various other countries who have a universal health care system. It was a very sobering and disturbing look at how weak the US system is in caring for people, especially the poor. You can watch some video clips here.

I never realized how broken our US medical system was until I had chance to live in Canada, Korea and Australia, which all have universal health care (to some degree). If people get a serious illness in the US, it will pretty much cripple that person's finances through major debt, but in countries with universal care, the system is created to make sure that getting sick won't add stress to your life by seeing all your money disappear because of all the bills.

I've seen specialists and the emergency rooms in each of these countries and I haven't paid a cent after leaving the hospital. I simply signed my release and never worried about a bill.

Governments and the health care industry were created to serve the people, not make money off of the people and I think that's something that bothered me greatly about the US "system". It actually made us wonder if we should stay in Australia =) But it also gave me a desire to enter politics for the first time in my life, hoping to bring about a change from the ground up ... establishing a system that will actually care for the people and the poor, as God calls us to.

Defend the cause of the weak ... maintain the rights of the poor and oppressed [Psalm 82:3] He who oppresses the poor shows contempt for their Maker, but whoever is kind to the needy honors God. [Proverbs 14:31] He who is kind to the poor lends to the LORD, and he will reward him for what he has done. [Proverbs 19:17] Do not exploit the poor because they are poor and do not crush the needy in court, for the LORD will take up their case and will plunder those who plunder them. [Proverbs 22:22-23] The righteous care about justice for the poor, but the wicked have no such concern. [Proverbs 29:7] Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” [Proverbs 31:9] I pray that this will become the mark of the next leaders for the Church and for our government.


Sunday was also a good reminder of the needs of those who are sick. It was good to have Hermann and his team back for the afternoon service, but he'll be leaving for Korea to support his uncle who is very sick at the moment. Both of his kidneys have failed and so Hermz will be heading to over there for prayer, support and a little Gospel action too for several weeks. Please pray for his uncle to experience Christ and find healing.

There were several more congregation members who are in need of prayers that I'd like to share:

1. Margaret (who is a key leader for the 3PM service) was just diagnosed with skin cancer and asks for much prayer on her behalf.

2. Robert (who is on the praise team) is still in recovery from his cancer and will have an important examination on Thursday to see if he will need more surgery. He asks that the results will be negative for his tests this week and for a complete recovery.

3. Ruth will be going in for tests this Tuesday and asks for prayer concerning her cysts to not be serious that were discovered in her breast recently.

4. And for Sui (Sue), who I shared last week was found to be cancer free, is still weak in her time of recovery and asks for restored strength for her body.


An added blessing this weekend was the return of our anointed piano player Daniel David, so we recorded a bunch of new memory verses which should last us until his next visit. You can listen to the verses here. His music ministry sooths the soul =) Sunday's sermon (Growing Deeper Through Discipleship) can be downloaded through iTunes here and you can get the sermon outline here. Praying for healing for our friends and for the nations ...

Currently Reading
Knowing God
By J. I. Packer


Christopher said...

Hey Eddie. I really want to watch that documentary! I just need to find someone equally willing. I must say that us Australian's really have it lucky when it comes to medicare. It's one of the things that turn me off going to the U.S. to practice as a doctor in the future.

Also, I've been doing a term in brain surgery at the moment, and sometimes in one day I see up to 20 patients all diagnosed with terminal brain cancer, given a life expectancy of about 4-5months on average. I'm lost for words, and all I can do is put my hand on the patient's or familymember's shoulder as they cry in shock/horror/grief.

I feel so helpless in times like that...I pray silently while they're being given the diagnosis but my heart is still filled with such a feeling of despair.

This is the kind of thing that makes me really confused about my position as a future medico.

Christopher said...

oh and what do you think of "knowing God" btw? No doubt you must've read it before and you've picked it up again?

I found it a real intense read!

Eddie Byun said...

Hey Chris! I've come to appreciate all you Aussie doctors (and doctors to be) after watching that movie too. And yes, ultimately the only place we can really turn to in times of despair is the True Physician who made us.

And I LOVE the book Knowing God. Yeah, I've read it several times before but I learn new things every time I read it. It's so deep and solid, and it's one book that feeds my head and my heart at the same time. It leads me to know God more and want to worship Him more.

That's actually the book that made me go to Regent College for my seminary degree (Packer still teaches there! I think he's over 90 by now???). An amazing man of God.