This year the Volunteers in Mission Mexico Medical Team served on a team composed of nineteen doctors, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, nurses, nursing students, translators, and helping hands. We saw a total of 225 patients in the three days we worked, and we felt good about the care we were able to give. All worked very hard to make the mission fruitful, by making sandwiches for our patients, putting together gift bags of toothbrushes and paste, crayons and coloring pages, and the students created a video project as a class requirement which was awesome. You can watch this on the HPCUMC Facebook page.
We had many blessings on this mission, in addition to the video. One amazing moment was when we took $710 in Walmart gift cards from a church in Cincinnati to the store to pay the bill for our over-the-counter medications, and when the cashier finished, the bill was $713.36. Another poignant moment was when a photo was taken of our doctor, Kris Sandlund, and our translator from Harlingen, Texas, Pastor Jake Vincent, while they were praying for a patient. Following the clinic they reported that the patient with whom they were praying was held hostage by the drug cartel, and he is living in fear for his life and the lives of his family. He has much difficulty sleeping at night.
Our first day at El Buen Pastor Church in Colonia, Francisco Madera was at our base clinic, where all the supplies are kept. The day afforded us an opportunity to see our dear friends from Mexico and get our pharmacy and supplies in order. That day our very first patient proved to be the most difficult of the mission. Gorgonia has a large goiter, which has been aggravating her for the past two years. Please pray for her during this time of preparation for surgery. The money donated to this mission helped pay for the tests and her follow-uptreatment.
Our second day was spent at City Hall in Nuevo Progreso, Mexico. It is always a privilege to be asked by government officials to work in a government-owned facility. We were very pleased to be able to work in the center of town and dispense some Christian love at the same time. Even more pleasing was the fact that we were treated to lunch by the Mayor of Nuevo Progreso.
Our third day of mission was spent at the Christian deportation camp, Senda De Vida. It is just across the border from the U.S. in Reynosa, Mexico. It is such a wonderful place for newly deported individuals to be housed while they figure out the next steps in their lives. We also see people from the neighborhood surrounding the center. Hector Silva, himself a deportee from the U.S., has built this beautiful, Christian Center for the people who come here, where the staff surrounds them with prayer, worship and counseling during their visit.
This team was blessed with many monetary donations, which pay for the things the team cost does not cover. The money goes to pay for a team fee to Manos Juntas, our Mexican Methodist partner in this mission. It covers all prescription medications, the fee for translators, our lab tech, and our Mexican doctor. The donations also cover the cost of over-the-counter medications (see above), labels and bags for the medication, sandwiches for our patients, gas for our vans, and extra laboratory and x-ray expenses, and a generous donation to Senda De Vida. Each team member pays his/her own expenses for the mission, which makes the help of our donors indispensible, and we want to thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Dios les bendiga! God Bless you!
-Martha Brice, West Ohio Conference VIM Team Coordinator