The wonderful volunteers from International Health Service returned to MAG’s mission base in Rus Rus from February 18-26, 2013 to conduct a free medical and dental clinic. This is the third consecutive year that MAG has partnered with IHS to deliver critically needed care to the Miskito people of Eastern Honduras. As usual, most people arrived on foot. Some came on horseback, some on stretchers, some as whole families, some as entire villages, many walking for several days – just for the chance to see a doctor, to have a tooth pulled, or to have their eyes examined.
This year the MAG team working with HIS was a little larger than in past years. MAG pilot and Honduras Program Director Westley Wiles oversaw the clinic and flew patients to other IHS sites for special medical attention. Carlos Paz, Director of Pastoral Ministries, spent his days translating between patients and medical staff and spent evenings preaching and sharing God’s love with the transient families and groups populating MAG’s missionary compound. Denise Wiles handled the hospitality needs of the thirteen member IHS team and MAG staff. The Wiles’ daughter, Rachel, and two visiting missionary kids also assisted with translation efforts while Karen Dodson, MAG’s Medical Services Coordinator, observed clinic operations and assisted with hospital procedures. Geraldina Coleman, Rus Rus Hospital’s Head Nurse, translated, directed patient flow, and helped with triage. Our national staff as well as volunteers from the village, also helped to make this year’s IHS clinic a great success.
Over the course of the ten day clinic the IHS team saw: 1041 medical patients. 12 cases required Westley to fly them to other IHS team locations for specialized treatment or surgery. 287 dental patients. This included the extraction of 235 teeth and flouride treatments being given to 74 children. 156 eye patients. 75 sets of reading glasses and 119 pairs of sunglasses were dispensed. 3,538 prescriptions filled. This included vitamins for those who came to the clinic and for family members unable to make the arduous journey.
This was also special as it was the first year that evening worship services were held, enabling Carlos to preach to all those who had travelled in to our village and were basically camping there waiting to receive care. Many people responded during these services by making commitments to follow Christ. One was Eduardo, who had been a critical medical patient at last year’s IHS clinic in Rus Rus. Last year Eduardo’s physical life was saved, this year he gained eternal life!
One family from a remote village came to the clinic for help. It seems their village had just killed their local witchdoctor for not doing a proper job of preventing illness and disease among them. They’d cut off his head and buried it believing that would make them healthy. It hadn’t worked. Many in their village were still sick and dying. Consequently this family walked to the clinic believing their problems remained because the villagers hadn’t buried the witchdoctor’s head deep enough in the ground. From out of that utter darkness they travelled to the village of Rus Rus – a beacon of light for them – where they received needed physical healing as well as spiritual truth – both in the Name of Jesus. It was a successful clinic, indeed!