August 2016

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August 2016

Posted by david on August 26, 2016

Greetings today in our inimitable Lord Jesus! We find it quite difficult to take time to write a blog while we´re shoulder deep in our daily work. We find that this is a common missionary problem! We're visiting friends and family right now in the States, and had some time today to try and share with you some of what we've been blessed to be involved in recently. We wish there were time and space to name everyone and every group that's aided us here since we wrote last! We know that many of you pray for us, and many support our labor, for which we're more than grateful! We trust that the photos and explanations below will serve as a blessing and encouragement to you.

Building and expanding have been a part of these last months, the physical expansion commensurate with our desire to serve our communities and indigenous more and more.

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The first picture above is the second floor of the Corban Clinic, almost finished now. Below it are the beginnings of the Spanish school expansion, which should be ready for our next set of classes starting September 5th.

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The Spanish school is still training missionaries and cross-cultural Christians year around, enabling hundreds to be salt and light among Spanish speaking nations. Our school building has four classrooms, and soon we'll have six more. We love readying missionaries for years of fruitful service!

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 And teaching Bible in first and second year classes is another joy, training our indigenous in the work of spreading Christ's love and salvation in their towns and villages, many of them still unreached. Second year students plant new churches as part of their course while studying. To help their efforts the first year students do a one month practicum, thus starting or helping new churches every year, and then the third year students pastor them. It's a great and fruitful method.

 Once to twice monthly the Clinic packs up medications and supplies and travels to surrounding villages to take help to areas of great need. These often hard-to-reach villages have limited access to health care, and we often see 100 patients a day. Some of these towns have no evangelical presence, so we coordinate with churches in their area to help them establish relationships with the people in these towns through the medical outreaches.

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 Approximately once every two months the Spanish school students join the Clinic team on a village outreach. The next three pictures are interactions with children and with an elderly Mixteco patient on our most recent joint trip.

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 We love receiving short term teams to help on these outreaches! There are many jobs, including counting and bagging medications, ministering to children, giving consults, and praying for patients. We are grateful for medical and non-medical volunteers!

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Below is the provisional prayer room in one of our village Clinics. Each patient who comes through for medical consult is invited to come in for prayer, and a brief Gospel presentation is given. Many patients have responded and opened their hearts to Christ as a result of coming to the medical clinic. This is our desire - to minister to their spiritual and well as physical needs.

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Below are some shots from an eye campaign done in conjunction with St. James UMC last year. They were able to help many patients through giving eye exams and providing glasses and medications at the base Clinic and in the village of Pinotepa de Don Luis.

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One case of very dramatic need which we saw in that village was a young woman suffering from glaucoma. She apparently had developed systemic effects, and was so ill that she was in a bed at the Clinic, and unable to get up to be examined. She was carried out that night, and taken home with treatment. The next morning team members went to check on her at home, and she was like a new person! God uses many vehicles of healing, and in this case it was a medical treatment together with prayer and a definite touch from God's hand that brought healing.

 Care is given in a variety of settings. Here, Dr. Mary Kay Ness is administering IV fluids to a patient who was unable to walk to the Clinic while the patient rests in a hammock on her front porch.

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Below, a student, Lily, and an R.N. and Spanish school student, Brianna Whalen, give education about dental health to patients waiting on consults on a large open court where the consulting areas were set up.

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 Some years back we were able to sponsor surgical campaigns right on the mission base. Below is a Chatino lady who received cataract surgery at our mission base about 23 years ago. She was almost totally blind, and had to be led around. I remember after her surgery, when the bandage was removed from her eyes, she had a big smile on her face because she could see again! We visited her village this past year and saw her, independent and active with the ladies of her church. Praise God for changed lives!

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Pictured below is Rosalín, who we met when she was about 1 ½ years of age when Dr. Mary Kay Ness (on the right) and Jolynne Myers, Nurse Practitioner, (not pictured), diagnosed Rosalín as having an encephalocele. They referred her to the appropriate hospital, and helped to raise finances to get the child to the hospital. Rosalín has now had a successful surgery to repair the defect, and is undergoing plastic surgeries to correct the external deformities. Praise God for His helping that little girl to discover the hope and future that He has for her! She is a brave and happy little girl.

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 Below is Dave at a birthday party for Saturnina, a ninety year old member of the community of Cacalotepec where we live. (She is on the right with the green apron.) Saturnina is the mother of Maurilio, a local fisherman, who lends his store each Sunday night for a Bible study led by Dave, done in PowerPoint with lots of pictures because many don't know how to read.

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Below is Carmen, Maurilio's wife, in their corner store which helps provide income for their family. Carmen also encourages community women to come to a Bible study with Laura on Sunday afternoons at her store.

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 We have the privilege of sowing into the lives of young people in our area. Two who have grown up in our local church and are now in university are Melinda and Nohemi Sánchez García, pictured below as young girls with their grandmothers, one mestiza (Spanish speaking) and the other from a Mixteco village.

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The following photo is a more recent picture of the two girls with their parents, Vidal and Norma. Vidal is a gardener, and Norma works making and selling tacos each evening. It took much faith for this family, already often struggling financially, to send their two daughters to college, Both girls graduated as valedictorians of their high schools. Meli is in her third year of dental school, and Nohemí in first year medical school.

The Clinic has been able to sow into their education with partial support, and their vision is to return to our village of Cacalote and serve God with the training He is giving them.

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 One other student the Clinic has been able to assist in his education is Misael Morales, pictured here at his recent graduation from medical school. Misael has one year of community service to complete his requirements then he desires to serve God with his knowledge and gifts.

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We close with the testimony of the Mixteco lady pictured below. We saw her in a clinic held in the community of Ixtayutla, about five hours from the Roca Blanca Mission Base. She came in just asking for vitamins, but we sensed that her needs were much deeper. As the physician questioned, her story unfolded. She had been widowed one year earlier when her husband was shot and killed by his own brother. There are many vengeance killings in the villages, and no one turns them in because of fear of retaliation.

This woman represents many young widows in our villages. She found hope through Christ, for which we rejoice! But there are many who do not yet have this hope,

Our desire is to take the light of the Gospel to shine into the hearts and lives of many who need Christ in the area where He has called us.

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Thank you for allowing us to share these fruits with you today! Let's keep praying and doing all we can so that the wonder and glory of God's truth in Christ continues to be spread in Oaxaca, Mexico.

Thank you for your part!

Dave and Laura


Posted by Jordan Hoile on
I love seeing all the good works you are doing! Keep it up!
Posted by Luke Hiebert on
Truly amazing! Roca Blanca is saving lives. Keep up the good work. Hope to return one day
Posted by Morgan Garneau on
Thanks, David y Laura! I love seeing your updates and the fruit of your obedience. I hope to visit soon!!
Posted by Hayden & Esther Bennett on
Thank you very much for your updates and the lovely pictures, which help fix the details in our minds! We are thrilled with what the Lord is doing through you both... and look forward to seeing you with our team next February, God willing!
Posted by Dalene Ann on
Laura & David, it is wonderful to see all that you are doing and I really appreciate all the pictures. Laura, you still are one of "God's amazing women & hero" in my life. I am touched to have a glimpse into Roca Blanca. I love you-all so much and do remember you in prayer often. Please give my greetings and love to Hma. Cris.
Blessings of wisdom, peace and strength. Hugs - Dalene Ann
Posted by Leeann Kelley on
Thank you so much for the update. I love looking at each face, looking for someone I remember from the base, and especially the mountains. All those visits, those clinics and those long bumpy rides and tuna sandwiches still are vivid in my memory.

Miss you all so much. By the way, I have recently moved from clinical nurse manager to social services, I am being stretch to the max, but still appreciating the opportunity to meet the needs of those deeply loved by Jesus. Like our times at Clinica Corban and up in the mountains, needs go far beyond medical issues. I was realizing last Friday how I need the resourcefulness that we had to find when working with the practical day to day health needs once a patient goes home....just like we did in Oaxaca. Of course, although the problems are just as real up here in the states, and the resources are often challenging to procure, at least there are resources. Not always so in Oaxaca. But I remember that Hermana Laura usually found a way. People in rural Mexico are more accepting of the inevitabilities of life and death, the people in the U.S. not so much.
Posted by Brad Clere on
David & Laura,

It's so nice to see your steadfast work there and knowing that you continue to go into the mountains fills my heart. I really miss you all there and will never forget the work there nor the seeds sown. I just found this blog today and will continue to follow you both and as stated before, hope to visit again some day. Thank you, and God bless.

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