By Lisa Rieck

The Presence of Christ in a Hurting World

InterVarsity alumna Ann Dominguez has one driving passion. As she puts it, it’s to “bring the transformative power of the gospel into every situation in my life.”

It’s a passion that springs from her years in InterVarsity, when she watched her staff workers live out their faith in very practical, authentic, consistent ways. Now she seeks to model that faithfulness in her own life through a deep commitment to be exactly who God has made her to be and allow God to use her at every moment in whatever situation and place he’s called her to.

Serving People

After working at an afterschool program in inner-city Chicago during college, Ann thought she’d become a teacher. But she noticed a particular detail about the families she was meeting through the school. “I worked with mostly single moms with lots of kids,” she said. “And I saw in their lives the difficulty of getting their kids to the doctor.” She also loved science, and began to ask God how she could combine that with her love of individual teaching and her heart for the inner city.

Ann sensed God leading her to medicine, a profession that has taken her to countries like Haiti, Thailand, and Guatemala, as well as to inner-city Denver (where she serves a largely immigrant population, particularly moms and kids). And while she loves her work, she’s clear that the most important piece of her calling is people, particularly those who don’t have easy access to doctors.

Praying for Patients

Serving and being fully present to her patients often means praying continually throughout the day. “As I’m listening to someone, as someone is pouring out their suffering, I am praying for them,” Ann said.

Those prayers change what can easily become a detached doctor-patient relationship. “Praying for patients has the effect of softening my heart toward them,” Ann said. “They cease to be the diabetic in room four, or the person with emphysema in room six. They become a person with a story, and they’re on a journey.

Passing on Values to the Next Generation

Ann’s commitment to allow Christ to use her in each moment extends to five other very important people: her husband and four kids. And it’s a job she takes no less seriously than her role as a doctor. “I think there are people for whom being a doctor is their persona,” she said. “For me, it feels like one of many hats I wear. . . . Being a doctor isn’t my existence. It’s one part of who I am and I serve, but it’s not all of it.”

“Mom” and “homeschool teacher” are two other important hats Ann loves wearing every day. “I have an opportunity to help my kids see the world, or their piece of it here, through eyes of ministry,” she said.

InterVarsity shaped Ann’s own view of the world in important ways when she was a student. “The emphasis that InterVarsity has on personal Bible study as well as fellowship of the believers—I hope that’s a gift I pass on,” she said. “Right now it’s mostly being passed on to my children. But as my husband and I work with students and residents, . . . we hope that we are pointing them to the Bible and to church and to listening for the Spirit as they look for where they’re supposed to be going with their lives.”

As Ann and her family continue to listen for the Spirit and look for where they’re supposed to be, they’re sensing a call to Guatemala, where they’ll continue to allow God to use their unique gifts and skills to bring Christ’s presence to patients and medical students. “I think in medicine, specifically, there is a temptation to think that lowering someone’s blood pressure is the point,” Ann said. “What I really want to do is to allow them to encounter the living Christ through me and allow that to transform them, beyond what the medicine can do.”

Ann Dominguez - Staff Conference 2014 from InterVarsity twentyonehundred on Vimeo.