October 2017

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October 2017

Posted by david on October 23, 2017

Greetings from the Nelsons at Roca Blanca, Oaxaca, Mexico! Of the many beautiful and powerul things going on around us, for this month's blog edition we wished to write about only one of our recent events, that of the first of two devastating earthquakes that has done a great deal of damage in our State, and within our reach for ministry.

Because of an earthquake registering 8.2 on the Richter scale on September 7th at 11:49 pm with its epicenter in the gulf of Tehuantepec, the people of southern Mexico suffered a tremendous disaster leaving much devastation in the states of Chiapas and Oaxaca.  There were many deaths, and many people lost their homes and were left without electricity for 5 days causing scarcity of basic supplies such as water, food, and medicine.  To respond to these needs, Corban Clinic immediately became a collection center for food, water, cots, tarps, and clothing. Many full trucks and vans have made the seven hour trip to distribute to the neediest in the affected areas. Many of our local townsfolk, as well as friends from the USA and Canada sent funds or goods to help. We also sent a medical team September 13th – 15th to work in 3 communities in the region of Juchitán, Oaxaca.  Free medical care and medications were given to 227 patients in the three communities.  We followed up with a second medical brigade on September 27 – 29 in Juchitán, ministering with medicine and consultations to another 82 victims of that earthquake. The Gospel was shared and prayer offered for each patient, and many responded to the invitation to open their hearts to the love and salvation found only in Christ.  The team also took food and drinking water to distribute.

There was a large percentage of the houses in these communities left uninhabitable because of the earthquake.  Many of these people are now sleeping in the streets beside their houses because of the danger of being inside.  The tremors continue – the last count I heard of subsequent tremors was over 5,000 – and there has been one other significant earthquake which caused further damage to the buildings, and some families had to move away from their neighborhoods because of the danger of even being in the street between the buildings.    This has caused people to set up small campsites wherever they can find a space and suffer from difficulty finding a dry place to sleep because of very persistent rains over the last few weeks and from lack of accessible bathroom facilities, places to cook, places to wash clothes, and other amenities that we take for granted.

Below are images of the destruction we found in some of these towns.

Juchitan rubble.jpg

house with cracks.jpg

Below are pictures of the distribution of food and bottles of drinking water and the consults and provision of medications in the town of Ixtaltepec on September 13th.  Crews were beginning to demolish the houses that were no longer inhabitable and there was a lot of rubble in the work area.

Juchitan distribution.jpg

Juchitan consult.jpg

Juchitan medical team.jpg

Above, the medical team is looking over damages in the town of Chicapas, where we did our second day of clinic.  Behind the team is a house that fell during the earthquake.

We were extremely blessed by having a place to stay during these outreaches in one of the homes that was not damaged that belongs to a family member of Dr. Enver, the clinic physician.  We traveled from there to the other 2 villages.

The third day we worked in the town of Huamuchil, a fishing village located on a lagoon which connects with the ocean.  Because there was a threat of a tsunami after the earthquake, the people in the town headed for the hills, and they told us that they literally stayed out in the fields for two days at a higher altitude than their town because of the fear of a tsunami.  There were tsunami type waves reported, but they were not high enough to cause damage, for which we are very grateful to God.  His hand of protection over many people was obvious in spite of the hardships that resulted from the earthquake.

One of those cases of divine protection was a man and his wife who live a few doors down from the house we stayed in during the outreach.  The man is about 70 years of age and is a fisherman.  He was alone in a small house, and his son, daughter-in-law, and his wife who is ill, were in the house next door.

When the earthquake occurred at almost midnight, he was sitting on the edge of his bed.  He tried to stand to get out of the house but was unable, so he just braced himself as he saw the house crumbling around him.  He survived – it took the rescuers 3 hours to dig him out of the rubble, but he amazingly survived with only a lot of pain.  We saw him about a week after the earthquake, and he was in bed with much pain.  He probably had some fractured ribs.  The physician ordered some IV fluids and IV medications, and when we returned to discontinue the fluids, his wife said that she was so grateful that he had been able to sleep after receiving the medications because of the pain relief.  We shared with the family, and both the husband and wife prayed to open their hearts to Christ.  The man´s cousin is the pastor of an evangelical church, so there is follow-up available.  This was just one of a number of incidents in which we saw God´s hand at work.

passing food.jpg

Below are scenes from the camp where we stayed with Dra. Belén and her family on the second outreach and where we set up a covered area to give consults.  The second photo shows Dr. Enver and Dr. Victor giving consults in their makeshift consulting areas.

consult area.jpg

Juchitan consulting rooms.jpg

Below is Sister Sue Kershner organizing the second year Bible School students to go out and distribute food and also literature and to talk with and pray for the victims of the earthquake.

Sue and Bible students.jpg

The students went to a campsite where there were a number of elderly residents who had left their homes because they were unsafe.  The students found the people very hungry for the things of God.  They were asking for Bibles.  At this campsite and the homes the students visited, 13 people gave their hearts to the Lord.  We also did a medical visit to this campsite and gave medications to a number of the residents there.  Below is a picture of this campsite.

tarp and cots.jpg

We are very thankful to Blessings International for providing many of the medications which made possible these outreaches.  The people were extremely grateful for the medical help.  Approximately 250 patients were helped on this outreach and many of them made decisions for Christ.

Below is a photo of nurses at the Corban Clinic preparing medications for the trip.

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meds.jpg

nurses on the job.jpg

Above the meds are being distributed from the campsite in front of a house in Juchitán.

Many thanks to all who have given to disaster relief through donations of medications, funds for food and tarps for the people, and funds to be able to make trips to the disaster site to carry the supplies.  Dr. Belén, an ophthalmologist who also pastors a church in Juchitán, lost her home, her consulting area, and her church, yet she is the one who has set up a distribution point and is our contact to get the supplies to those who most need the help.  She has not asked for anything for herself – she has asked for the elderly and the widows who are not able to work and have hopes of rebuilding on their own.  Please continue to pray for Dr. Belén and all those affected in the region of Juchitán.  We do plan to do at least one more medical outreach to that area as they recover, and the mission base is organizing more supply trips as the area struggles to get to a place of beginning reconstruction.

We will keep you posted.  Thank you again so much to all who have given to this and other clinic projects.  Your prayers, gifts, and participation in the ministry here is invaluable and helps keep us going!

We love and appreciate each of you!

Dave and Laura

Comments:

Posted by Jim Lilly on
Thank you for the update. I love the picture of the white dove on the index page of your blog.
Posted by Joyce Clouse on
It brought back memories that will not be forgotten. It was a privilege to work with and know you dear ones. So thankful that you know who you are in Christ, that you are faithfully being an extension of His person in ministry to those who are very needy. Blessings in everything in every way.
Posted by Fran Turnage Smith on
Laura,
Thank you ever so much for sharing. We don't get this information on the news, here. So sad.
Remembering our times in Oaxacca. Still think of you often. You were and still are a shining example
of what a Christian missionary should look and act like. Few people have inflluenced me and my walk with the Lord as you havve. Love you much and will try to sep up a monthly giving to your ministry in the amount of $30 per month. I would like to give more; but know the Lord can multiply it in order to meet a need.
Love and dprayers,
Fran
Posted by Leeann Kelley on
Laura and David,
Have been much in prayer for Mexico. We do not have t.v. and so our information comes to us by way of internet. My first knowledge of the earthquake in Chiapas when we saw a Facebook message from Angelica stating they were safe, and then a few days later she posted again. From the Mexicans here in our community we heard that there might of been a third, but I guess that was an aftershock.

So glad that you are in a position to serve. Continued prayers.
Love Leeann
P.S. so good to see photos of Betty and Rosi
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