We are back! And astounded with our Lord’s abundant blessings upon our medical mission trip to Paraguay. Every aspect of this trip evolved on a “grand scale”!
Our medical mission team numbered 50 persons, including nine physicians, seven nurses, eleven students, twenty dedicated laypersons, our pharmacist, and two chaplains. Seven former missionaries to Paraguay enjoyed this opportunity to “come back home”. Our group included four complete families numbering three to five members! What a sincere spirit of service and love was demonstrated daily by each team member. And, as commonly required on the mission field, flexibility was the watchword, as people switched tasks to meet the needs of that day. Everyday our team was complemented by physicians, nurses, and chaplains from Centro Médico Bautista who accompanied us to the different clinic sites at Carapeguá, Límpio, Yeguarizo, and Lambaré. After these clinics were done we also conducted one at the hotel where we were staying for the employees and their family members. Our Medical Team provided physical care to 933 patients, prescribing free medicines and giving vitamins to each one. Tooth paste and brushes were also distributed to every patient and family member.
The Eye Team encountered high demand everywhere, attending 699 patients, with each person receiving free eye glasses. So many were excited to finally be able to see again! A unique aspect of our clinics is to assure follow-up for patients with serious diagnoses. Over 30 eye patients were referred to the Programa Visión for cataract surgery at a very reduced cost, and medical patients needing follow-up will receive needed care at the Centro Médico Bautista. These partnerships promises our patients more than just one on-site consult, but continued treatment as necessary.
Our greatest diagnostic tools, however, were the Evangelism Bracelet, a multicolored soccer ball, and the Evangecube used by our Vacation Bible School Team and chaplains to resolve the greatest problem confronting each patient: their sin problem separating them from God.
336 persons accepted Christ personally as their Savior and Lord. This is the fundamental purpose of our ministry. We are not committed to only provide physical and visual assistance, but to explain to every patient that God loves them so much that His only son died for their sin and present to them an opportunity to accept the free the gift of salvation and eternal life.
This flood of blessings and joy of serving Christ in each clinic were marvelously depicted in our visit to the Iguazú Falls situated on the border of Paraguay and Brazil which an amazing conglomeration of 275 waterfalls in one place and one of the Seven Natural Wonders of the World. The waters rushing over these cliffs were at the highest level I have ever seen in my 30+ visits there.
Just like these falls were overflowing, we were filled with God’s bountiful love each day, continuously replenished for each new clinic experience. As the mist rises from these magnificent falls, so did His Spirit surround and anoint us daily to reach out to our fellow man and woman, share His Story, and invite every person to meet their Savior, Lord, and Creator.
What a wondrous adventure of purpose, peace, and His power to share Hope with the hopeless, and provide healing and sight, but most importantly, introduce them to a new life with Jesus Christ—so that they will possess a new hope forever! We are all so grateful that we could be used by Him.