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In the mountains of Ecuador lies a community of Quichua Indians. A medical team arrived and set off for the North Andean Field with missionary and nurse Carolyn Rich to hold clinics. As the team set up the clinic at a small church, people came from every direction needing care for their aches, wounds, fevers, and diseases. The team worked for hours and closed the day feeling exhausted.
Then a Quichua Indian man arrived. He wasn't more the 4 feet tall. Disheveled, shy, and emotionless, his back was bent to a right angle from working in the fields and carrying heavy loads. It was obvious his feet were in pain. The Quichua Indians rarely wear shoes as they walk throughout the mountains. He had wounds on the bottom of his feet that required medication and bandages.
A team member got a basin of water, knelt before him, and carefully washed his feet. After the man received medical care, he was given a pair of shoes. When he stood to his feet, tears streamed down his cheeks. He took the team member's hand in his and kissed it. No one had ever treated him like that. The kind gestures touched him to the depths.
Not only had the medical team been a blessing to the community through the clinic, but the community had been a blessing to the team.
This is one of countless stories from Nazarene Medical Organization (NMO), which links medical professionals to both international health care ministries and to one another. Through Nazarene Compassionate Ministries, NMO links medical professionals to international healthcare ministries and to one another. It supports healthcare ministries by:
- Providing essential medicines and supplies to clinics and hospitals.
- Promoting community-based health care through preventative care, education, and training.
- Fostering medical volunteerism to support ongoing and emergency needs in communities worldwide.
The critical shortage of health care workers and resources worldwide results in millions of families suffering from poor health conditions. Unfortunately children are the most vulnerable. Check out these realities:
- This year*, approximately 9.2 million children under the age of five will die because of disease and childbirth-related causes that are largely preventable.
- Every day 1,500* women will die from complications related to pregnancy and childbirth.
It doesn't have to be that way. That's why NMO is committed to coming alongside health care ministries working to break the destructive cycle of preventable disease in communities worldwide in the name of Christ.
For information about volunteer opportunities with NMO, updates on ongoing healthcare projects, and the latest in global news, send an Email to firstname.lastname@example.org. If you are interested in giving a gift to NMO, you may do so at www.ncm.org/give.
NMO Healthcare Worldwide: You Can Get Involved
Eurasia: Reynolds Memorial Hospital (RMH) in Washim, India, was founded in 1936 to provide healthcare to the poor. As RMH continues and expands this mission, needs exist for short-term medical teams and short- and long-term medical volunteers to assist with community-based health care and to work in the hospital. Specifically, they are looking for doctors and specialists in gynecology, orthopedics, pediatrics, general medicine, dermatology, cardiology, and endocrinology.
CIS: NCM supports several local church and rehabilitation centers in the Ukraine that provide HIV/AIDS education and prevention strategies based on Christian principles to schools and communities. They also teach drug use prevention and sexual abstinence as they fight discrimination against people living with HIV/AIDS. The local church and rehabilitation centers need financial partnership as they continue to develop their prevention and education campaigns.
Africa: Local volunteers in the church lead the Nazarene HIV/AIDS Taskforce in Swaziland. They have trained nearly 400 caregivers to provide in-home care and support to people living with AIDS. Swazi Nazarenes provide education, holistic counseling, minor medical treatments, food parcels, and assistance for children who are orphaned or vulnerable.
Asia-Pacific: The local church in the Philippines created the Medical and Dental Mission to partner with the church in evangelism, church growth, and church planting ministries. Congregations organize their own teams of doctors, dentists, nurses, and other medical professionals to volunteer within communities. Church members assist medical volunteers, and church leaders join in as counselors. All have the opportunity to present the gospel, and many patients come to faith in Christ. The teams are looking for donated medical supplies and funds for medical supplies so that they may continue their community work.
Mesoamerica: Mount Zion Hospital in Guatemala provides clinical testing, X-rays, dentistry, and other medical services to the community and Nazarene pastors and their families. As they improve their services, they are developing a surgery wing that needs medical equipment, a lab, an intensive care unit, inpatient rooms, and a dental clinic. Also, construction teams are needed to help with the remodeling.
South America: South America areas can use assistance from medical teams specifically in Peru, the jungle, and Andes cities. Additionally, New Horizons Biblical Institute is in need of remodeling so it can be used as a medical clinic during the day to benefit the surrounding communities.
USA/Canada: Throughout the U.S. and Canada, there are dozens of Nazarene Compassionate Ministry Centers that help local communities with a variety of healthcare needs. Go online to find a list of Nazarene Compassionate Ministry Centers that deal directly with health care in your area and arrange volunteer or donation opportunities.
Nazarene Medical Organization
Holiness Today, July/August 2011
*Please note: This article was originally published in 2011. All facts, figures, and titles were accurate to the best of our knowledge at that time but may have since changed.