Tag Archives: medical outreach

Update on last weekend’s outreach trip

Thanks to those who prayed for the medical outreach last weekend in “Rivertown”, a village across the border in our neighboring state.  Here are some thoughts and quick hits from the trip:

  • Rhonda and Sarah joined (if I’m remembering correctly) three doctors, two dentists, and two other nurses giving consultation.  The group saw a combined 670 patients Saturday and Sunday.
  • The village, as promised, was part of a group of communities that is very isolated.  It only ended up being a 10-hour drive to get there (not the 14 we were expecting), but that for a village only 50 miles from our town as the crow flies.  (I love the things I can find out with Google Earth.)
  • People came from probably 10 surrounding villages.  Trucks brought many of them, while others walked several hours to come.  Sarah’s doctor had one lady who wanted medicine for her daughter who was sick and had a fever.  The lady then mentioned she had three more sick kids at home.  When the doctor asked why the lady didn’t bring her other kids, she responded that it was a three-hour walk from their village, the kids weren’t strong enough to walk, and she couldn’t carry them all that way.
  • The people of the area are noticeably poorer than those in our district (and the villages in our district aren’t exactly rolling in dough).  Many people don’t wear shoes, and some kids were running around naked or only halfway clothed.
  • The people are also much more monolingual than those in our area.  Kids about age 10 and up and men in their 20s-40s were generally the only good bets for speaking decent Spanish.  We had six Christians from another village in the same language group with us to translate.  Those translators were absolutely vital, as many times it was impossible to figure out what someone was trying to communicate without them.
  • On the way to Rivertown, we really enjoyed meeting a missionary couple in a market town two hours from where we live.  He’s Mexican, she’s American, and they’ve been working in their town for 10 years.  They’ve planted a church and have several neat outreaches going.
  • I loved working with the local drug rehab ministry that organized the outreach.  It was great getting to know them and their ministry better.  They really have their ducks in a row!  Learning more about their ministry (they’ve been very successful in this country in ways few others have been) gave us some good ideas we’re praying about for our work.
  • It’s possible the villages we were in are nearly devoid of gospel witness just because they’re so isolated.  All of us felt like they’re in great spiritual bondage, though.  Pray God opens and frees Rivertown and the villages surrounding it.
  • A real need exists for more and better audio resources in the languages of our region.  I’m amazed how much literature well-meaning Christians are handing out to illiterate people.  We’ve got to find a better way, realizing that our Western way of evangelizing others just doesn’t work in much of the world.  (One can raise the question of how well it works even in our own part of the world.)
  • Getting to know some of the Christian brothers and sisters of that area was a great blessing.  They’re a neat group, and they’ve had to endure some tough persecution.  We also had the privilege of meeting an American couple who have been doing Bible translation over there since 1983.  Their humility and genuine love for the people was evident, as has been the case with all the Bible translators I’ve met around here.  Pray Ephesians 1:17-19 over the local believers as well as the missionaries working with them.
  • I’m really glad we went on the trip, even though it hit at a busy time for us.  We learned a lot, saw a new area that’s very needy spiritually, shared the gospel, prayed, laid hands on the sick, and served.  I have an even greater burden for our area now that I’ve seen more of it firsthand.

Here are a few photos:

Rivertown, where we did the outreach

The second day they put me to work cutting hair. I gave 20 haircuts!

Chris cutting hair
Rhonda and Sarah give an IV to a man very sick with pneumonia

Rhonda and Sarah attending man
People pile in for a 1- or 2-hour ride back to their village

Villagers loading into truck
Me on the left with Dave, Rhonda, Sarah, and Nick

Our team

Cool medical outreach opportunity

Pray for Dave, Rhonda, Nick, Sarah, and I as we head out early Thursday (today) for a weekend medical outreach.

I’m excited about this opportunity; we were invited by a long-time missionary in our town who set up the outreach for a local Mexican organization. The outreach will take place in a group of Mixed People (pseudonym I use for them) villages just across the border in our neighboring state.

This group of villages is rated the poorest municipality in all of Mexico, and it is also one of the least-reached with the gospel. The villages are very isolated. Though they are only about 50 miles from our town as the crow flies, it will take a 14-hour drive to get there.

The people of the area to which we’re going are much more monolingual than those in our own district. Where we are, all but the oldest and youngest villagers speak Spanish along with their tribal languages. A number of people speak only Spanish. In the Mixed People villages we’ll be serving, though, many people only speak the Mixed People language. We will have some bilingual (Spanish and Mixed language) Christian brothers along to translate for us.

The way we have things scheduled, it will take us Thursday and Friday to get to “Rivertown”, the village where we’ll be set up. Saturday and Sunday will be the days of medical consultation. Monday we’ll make the long trip back to our town, hopefully arriving late Monday night.

Please pray for safe travel on some tricky roads to and from the outreach. Pray God’s kingdom comes and His will is done in Rivertown and the surrounding villages, just as it is done in heaven. Pray for extra grace for Erin as she takes care of the girls by herself for five days.

If you would like to receive prayer requests/reminders while we’re doing the outreach, follow me on Twitter.

Thanks so much for your partnership through prayer! I’ll let you know how things went once we’re back.

Update: You can read my report on the outreach here.

More testimonies from the medical outreach

The medical outreach we were doing this week is now done.  In the final two days we continued to see God touching people and healing them.  I don’t know how many people were healed, but it was a good number.

I saw God heal the vision of four people in the final two days.  The optometrist was in such high demand that people were arriving as early as 4am (the clinic started at 9 each day) to see him, and we had to turn a number of people away.  Thursday, when a number of people had just been turned away, I invited anyone who wanted prayer to come over.  A few people did, and I and some others began praying for them.  I prayed for three people in a row whose vision cleared up.  I know this because we gave them before and after tests.  Before prayer, we would hand them a passage to read from a Bible and they couldn’t see well enough to do it.  Immediately after prayer they were reading even the very fine print of the footnotes of the Bible.  Praise God!!

I was part of praying for three other people in the last two days who had various problems in their shoulders, backs, or legs.  God took away all their pain when we prayed.  One woman had an inflamed lump in her shoulder that Rhonda could feel and that caused her to wince every time it was pressed.  Immediately after praying for her the lump had disappeared and she had no more pain in the shoulder.  God is awesome!

Friday I invited my sister Micah, who is staying with us for the summer, to come along and help pray for people.  She did, and got to help pray for a number of people.  She was very excited (as were the rest of us) when she and Jackie prayed for an older man who couldn’t walk well because his foot was in a lot of pain.  They prayed for his healing in the name of Jesus, and all of his pain went away.  I got to talk with him afterwards, and he was very happy!  He had hardly been able to leave his house recently because of the pain, but now he said he can walk around fine.  He is a believer, but he does not have a church and is very anxious for fellowship.  I agreed to come see him, and I plan to help get him plugged into fellowship.

Once again, I have shared just some of the many things that God did this week.  The best part at the end of the outreach is that we have contact information for a number of people to follow up on.  These are people who said they want to follow Jesus or who are interested in learning more about having a relationship with Christ.  They were touched by God’s healing power, and now they want to know him better.  Please pray that in the coming weeks fruit would come out of the ministry that took place with these people this week.

Thanks for all of you who were praying this week for God to be moving down here.  He certainly did, and we praise Him for His greatness and for His compassion.  Join us in giving Him all the glory!