David and Nancy Slinde Speaking at their "Sending Service"

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Medical Mission

February is fleeting – and on Saturday we will complete our first 100 days. God continues to expand our borders, to bless us, and to grow us.

Last week, we participated in a medical mission from Milwaukee. Thirty volunteers including nurses, technicians, doctors, dentists, pharmacists and 5 non medical support staff attended 800 patients during a 4 day clinic. Patients served were approximately 20% men, 50% women and 30% children under age 14.

The mission also included a pharmacy and an eyewear clinic. Each member of the group brought one suitcase of clothes and one full of prescription and over-the-counter medicines. The cases of medicines were seized at customs, but with the help of an attorney, they were released before the clinic began!

We joined them for 2 days. On the first day we worked in an older building in the central city. Conditions were not the best, but the team was superb in their care of the people. The clients are the poor; they are lowly and humble people, often uneducated, and some with serious psycho-social needs. Many are referred to a local doctor and dentist for continued treatment.

After 2 days in the central city, the medical clinic moved into the northern region to serve rural communities. Here again the families are poor, the clinic conditions very basic, and the medical care excellent and lovingly given. At both locations, treatment attended the body, mind and spirit. Old men and women, mothers with their children were able to receive shoulder and neck massage and prayers for healing and peace.

While these clinics were done in very difficult conditions, the medical team is already making plans for the mission next year. This is their 10th year of service and each year is well planned and very effective. 25 Salvadorans work closely with the North American Medical Team that includes Lutherans and non Lutherans, members from greater Milwaukee, Duluth, Minnesota and Arizona. This team continues to grow as the Salvadoran experience attracts and retains volunteers.

Our hearts were touched just being with these dedicated volunteers and the people they served. It was a meaningful experience for those who have done it for many years and for the first-timers as well. We are blessed to have been included.

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