For the past two weeks, Josh and I have worked with a medical mission team of Americans and Canadians in Baños, Ecuador. We are so grateful to have been a part of this team and we would love to tell you a little bit about our experiences!
The team arrived on June 11th and we took a bus to Baños on June 12th. We started work on Monday the 13th and each day that week we traveled to a different small town in the area. Members of the team included nurses, a urologist, an orthopedic surgeon, a family practice doctor, general helpers, and interpreters. The first week we saw 674 patients and we gave fluoride treatments to 798 children. Over the weekend, the team was able to explore Baños a little and on Sunday we attended a local church. At the church service, I was given my first opportunity to translate a sermon - boy, was I nervous! But, God gave me the words, and with his help, all the participants were able to understand His word that morning. After a restful Sunday afternoon, we started back to work on Monday and worked until Thursday afternoon when we headed back to Quito. The second week we saw 470 patients and gave 459 children fluoride treatments. This gave us a 2-week total of 1257 fluoride treatments and 1144 patients who received treatment and medicine, and they and their families received health education, and heard the gospel. We pray we were able to plant seeds of hope in these patients and that God will pursue them and capture their hearts.
The whole group meshed incredibly well and we were constantly reminded how God takes such care to bring each team together to fill all of the needs. We had devotions each morning by different members of the team, and someone spoke on 1 Corinthians Chapter 12:
"The body is a unit, though it is made up of many parts; and though all its parts are many, they form one body . . . Now the body is not made up of one part but of many. If the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason cease to be part of the body. If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? But in fact God has arranged the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be."
What a wonderful metaphor for the way a team works together! God was very present every day when we went to work and brought us so many patients that we were able to help. Each participant played a part in making the whole thing come together.
Our next mission team arrives on July 9th and we will be headed to a town called Latacunga. For the next two weeks, Josh and I will be preparing for the next team and, if time allows, also exploring some areas a little north of Quito that may be possibilities for the permanent center. We will let you know how everything goes!
Every morning of each project we get together with the waiting patients and sing a praise song in Spanish called "Alabare" which means, "I will praise". Please excuse my singing [:-)], but enjoy this video: